H. Peter Haveles Jr., a partner in the Commercial Litigation Practice Group of Pepper Hamilton, was quoted in the July 31, 2013 Institutional Investor’s Alpha article, "If SAC Loses in Court, Who Pays?"
Haveles says the government can’t go after the investors simply by invoking the criminal charges or even the civil forfeiture complaint. That is because the claim is against the funds, not the investors. To enforce a forfeiture judgment against the investors, the government would have to launch a new action and try to assert a right to the distributions on the basis of "unjust enrichment."
With SAC, says Haveles, "there is a lot of uncertainty over whether the government can establish that the investors are not entitled to those distributions." The distributions were a return of capital and earnings on a substantial number of trades that the suit does not attack. Haveles also stresses that the ability to go after a fund’s investors is somewhat restricted because the investors are typically structured as limited partners or limited liability companies, both of which provide the investors with limited liability.