Hedge Fund Manager Charged With Insider Trading

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Leon Cooperman, the 73-year old hedge fund manager of Omega Advisors, has been charged with insider trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The billionaire and his firm, which he has managed for over 25 years, have both been charged.

In a civil complaint, the SEC alleges that Cooperman traded on non-public information in the summer 2010. Cooperman had several telephone conversations with corporate executive at Atlas Pipeline Partners, where he had learned about the impending sale of its natural gas processing facility in Elk City, Oklahoma.

Omega had been invested in Atlas Pipeline’s stock since 2007. In one of the telephone calls, Cooperman allegedly learned of the $650 million sale price.

According to the SEC, he also violated federal securities laws relating to timely reporting of securities holdings.

“We allege that hedge fund manager Cooperman, who as a large APL shareholder obtained access to confidential corporate information, abused that access by trading on this information,” said Andrew J. Ceresney, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.

“By doing so, he allegedly undermined the public confidence in the securities markets and took advantage of other investors who did not have this information.”

The SEC is seeking the the disgorgement of ill-gotten gains as well as other penalties.

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