Hedge fund manager Leon Cooperman has been angry about a lot of stuff over the past few years: jerk investors who want better returns and lower fees; Hillary Clinton's supposed "crapping" on what he does for a living; and a certain sitting president, for failing to write his 14 year-old granddaughter a handwritten thank you note for her (self-published) book of poems. Now, the subject of his ire is most likely a corporate suit who didn't say "Sure, Leon, no problem," when the money manager made the small request of flat out lying to the SEC to cover up his (alleged) insider trading activity.
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged hedge fund manager Leon G. Cooperman and his firm Omega Advisors with insider trading based on material nonpublic information he learned in confidence from a corporate executive. The SEC alleges that Cooperman generated substantial illicit profits by purchasing securities in Atlas Pipeline Partners (APL) in advance of the sale of its natural gas processing facility in Elk City, Oklahoma. Cooperman allegedly used his status as one of APL’s largest shareholders to gain access to the executive and obtain confidential details about the sale of this substantial company asset. Cooperman and Omega Advisors allegedly accumulated APL securities despite explicitly agreeing not to use the material nonpublic information for trading purposes, and when APL publicly announced the asset sale its stock price jumped more than 31 percent. According to the SEC’s complaint, when Omega Advisors received a subpoena nearly a year-and-half later about its trading in APL securities, Cooperman contacted the executive and tried to fabricate a story to tell if questioned about this trading activity. The executive was shocked and angered when he learned that Cooperman traded in advance of the public announcement.