Fund manager’s faint not proof of guilt, judge rules

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NEW YORK — Jurors cannot be told that a former hedge fund portfolio manager fainted when federal agents first confronted him over insider trading allegations, a judge ruled Monday, saying such a ‘‘shocking and highly disturbing’’ encounter could dramatically affect someone regardless of guilt or innocence.

US District Judge Paul Gardephe banned evidence about the fainting of Mathew Martoma from a trial that begins Tuesday when prospective jurors fill out questionnaires.

Martoma is charged with persuading a medical professor to leak secret data from an Alzheimer’s disease trial between 2006 and 2008, while Martoma worked at SAC Capital Advisors, the hedge fund company founded by billionaire Steven A. Cohen.

Martoma fainted when FBI agents approached him outside his home in 2011, a year before he was arrested.

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