SEC charges NJ Jewish philanthropist with insider trading

NEW YORK (JTA) — Leon Cooperman, a billionaire hedge fund manager and Jewish philanthropist from New Jersey, has been charged with insider trading.

Cooperman and his Omega Advisers hedge fund were charged Wednesday with insider trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC alleges that Cooperman made $4 million by buying into Atlas Pipeline Partners LP, of which he was a shareholder, by using confidential information he was prohibited from acting on.

In 2012, Cooperman and his wife Toby gave their $20 million life insurance policy to their local federation, the Jewish Community Foundation of MetroWest New Jersey. It was the largest single gift the federation had ever received. The Coopermans have also given to local institutions, according to the New Jersey Jewish News.

Cooperman denied the allegations in a lengthy letter to investors Wednesday.

“Needless to say, we are highly disappointed with the Commission’s decision to file charges, and we strongly disagree with the Commission that either the firm or I have engaged in any unlawful conduct,” he wrote.