Alleging Dozens of Violations, SEC Charges Leon Cooperman and Omega Advisors With Insider Trading and Failing to Make Regulatory Filings

On September 21, 2016, the SEC commenced a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against hedge fund manager Leon G. Cooperman and his investment advisory firm, Omega Advisors, Inc. The SEC charges that Cooperman received and traded on material nonpublic information about a proposed asset sale by an underlying portfolio company, netting more than $4 million in illicit profits for the funds and accounts he managed. The SEC also claims that Cooperman committed over 40 violations of beneficial ownership reporting requirements under federal securities law. This article summarizes the SEC complaint, with an emphasis on the insider trading allegations. For more on insider trading, see “K&L Gates Partners Identify Eight Actions That Hedge Fund Managers Can Take to Avoid Insider Trading Violations (Part Two of Three)” (Nov. 20, 2014); and our two-part series entitled “How Can Hedge Fund Managers Apply the Law of Insider Trading to Address Hedge Fund Industry-Specific Insider Trading Risks?”: Part One (Aug. 7, 2013); and Part Two (Aug. 15, 2013). For coverage of a derivative suit brought by Cooperman and his funds against a portfolio company, see “Hedge Fund Initiates Derivative Suit Against Directors of a Portfolio Company Alleging Self-Dealing in Approving an Acquisition” (Jul. 11, 2013).

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