Leon Cooperman Receives Wells Notice From The SECVW Staff
Leon Cooperman receives wells notice pertaining to the same subpoena he had received last March. There has been a lot of talk about this Wells Notice in the financial media. We are not sure how significant it is but it sounds from the letter to be less dramatic than the media makes it out to be, however, readers can read the full letter, a copy of which was obtained by ValueWalk and decide for themselves.
Leon Cooperman Receives Wells Notice From The SEC
As you may recall, we informed you last March that we had received subpoenas from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey and the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”). On March 14, 2016, Omega Advisors, Inc. (“Omega”) and I received a “Wells Notice” from the staff of the Commission pertaining to the same subpoena we received from the Commission last March.
A Wells Notice is an indication that the staff of the Commission’s Division of Enforcement has made a preliminary determination to recommend that the Commission file an enforcement action against its recipients. It does not constitute a determination that the recipients have violated any law, rule or regulation. The Wells Notice we received covers trading in a single issuer’s securities (in which Omega has been invested since 2007) that took place in July 2010, six years ago. It also covers trading in that issuer’s securities by a third party. Trading activity in the securities of that issuer also was the focus of a subpoena Omega received from the Commission in late 2011, to which we responded in early 2012. We had not heard from the staff for three years on this matter, until receiving their subpoena last March. The Wells Notice also concerns certain federal securities law filings that the staff claims were not timely made. The Government investigations are ongoing and could be expanded.
We are disappointed with the staff’s current position and issuance of the Wells Notice. We strongly disagree with the staff that any violation of federal securities laws has occurred.
I was subpoenaed by the staff to appear for an interview on March 11, and on the strong advice of my lawyers, I asserted my Fifth Amendment right not to testify. As I told the staff before we began, there were likely to be two unhappy parties at the end of the session – the staff and me. I explained that I was initially upset with my attorneys because, contrary to my deeply-held instincts, they insisted that I assert my Fifth Amendment right, but that I came to see the merits of their advice.
We have hired excellent legal counsel to represent us – Dan Kramer and Ted Wells of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, two lawyers highly experienced in matters like this. Our counsel will vigorously argue to persuade the Commission not to file an enforcement action, and, if the Commission moves forward anyway, defend against any charges asserted.
We understand that you may from time to time have questions about this matter, and you are welcome to address those questions to us. But we hope that you will understand that we cannot discuss the specifics of this matter while it is ongoing and will therefore not always be able to provide you with the level of detail that you may desire and that we might otherwise like to share with you.
As has been the case throughout Omega’s 24-year-plus existence, the firm remains fully committed to managing its clients’ money and delivering superior risk-adjusted returns. That will not change, and we are confident that this matter will not affect our ability to continue to serve our clients’ interests. We look forward, once everything is on the table, to being able to report back to you that this matter has been successfully resolved.
As we notified you earlier today, there will be a conference call at 4:30 P.M. this afternoon to discuss these matters further.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Omega Advisors, Inc.