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Regulatory Sanctions

No Ruling on Dismissing SEC v. Cooperman Insider Case -

February 8, 2017

[Photo: Cooperman at Yeshiva University, Office of Alumni Affairs]


U.S. District Judge Juan Sánchez in Philadelphia delayed ruling on whether to throw out an insider trading case against billionaire Leon Cooperman and his firm, Omega Advisors, in an ongoing crackdown on illegal trading at hedge funds. In December, lawyers for Cooperman and Omega had filed a motion to dismiss the SEC's case, which had been filed in September.


Cooperman, 73, and his multi-billion-dollar firm are alleged to have illegally traded in Atlas Pipeline Partners in 2010 ago after they found out about the planned sale of a unit.


IMPORTANCE OF DECISION.    Judge Sánchez’s decision could set a legal precedent about the responsibilities that individuals who work outside of a publicly-traded company have toward that company when making an agreement to keep confidential company details under wraps. The timing of such agreements is also an issue in the case.


"You are going to be the first judge to address this precise set of facts," said Bridget Fitzpatrick, a SEC lawyer who argued on behalf of the agency that the case should continue.


The SEC has argued that Cooperman "misappropriated" information from an Atlas executive about the sale of the Atlas Pipeline unit. He is said to have made about $4 million from his trading on Atlas related to the sale of its unit.


Cooperman's lawyers want the case thrown out arguing that he may have "broken a promise," if indeed he agreed not to trade on the information, but that he had not broken insider trading laws.