Skip To Content

Jewish Philanthropist Leon Cooperman Accused of Insider Trading

A major Jewish philanthropist and his massive hedge fund are facing insider trading charges, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Wednesday.

Leon Cooperman, 73, founder and manager of Omega Advisors, is charged in a civil complaint filed federal court in Pennsylvania with buying stock in a natural gas firm based on information he’d received from a firm executive.

Estimated by Forbes to be worth $3.1 billion, Cooperman has donated millions to Jewish charities through his family foundation. Major Jewish organizational recipients of Cooperman’s largesse include Birthright Israel, the United Jewish Communities of MetroWest New Jersey, and PJ Library, which distributes Jewish books.

A bequest of a $20 million life insurance policy by Cooperman and his wife, Toby Cooperman, to Jewish Community Foundation of MetroWest New Jersey, is the largest gift ever received by the charity.

Cooperman also is a major donor to Hunter College, the Robin Hood Foundation, and to Columbia University’s business school, where he serves on the board of overseers.

In a statement on the charges, Andrew J. Ceresney, director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, said that Cooperman had “allegedly undermined the public confidence in the securities markets and took advantage of other investors who did not have this information.”

Cooperman’s attorneys, Ted Wells and Daniel Kramer of the firm Paul Weiss Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, told the New York Times that Cooperman “acted appropriately at all times and did nothing wrong.”

Contact Josh Nathan-Kazis at [email protected] or on Twitter, @joshnathankazis

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.