WHEN: Today, Monday, March 21st
WHERE: CNBC's "Fast Money"
Following is the unofficial transcript of breaking news from CNBC's Scott Wapner. Following is a link to the story on CNBC.com:
All references must be sourced to CNBC.
SCOTT WAPNER: MELISSA, THIS IS MORE ABOUT THIS WELLS NOTICE THAT OMEGA ADVISERS AND LEON COOPERMAN HAVE RECEIVED. I JUST SPOKE WITH MR. COOPERMAN WHO TOLD ME, "WE BELIEVE WE HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG." THAT WAS IN RESPONSE TO A QUESTION ABOUT THE WELLS NOTICE HIS FIRM DID RECEIVE LAST WEEK. HE SAID IT CENTERS ON TRADING IN ATLAS PIPELINE. IT'S A STOCK THAT THEY HAD OWNED FOR YEARS ALL THE WAY BACK TO 2007, BUT ARE NO LONGER IN. IN FACT, MR. COOPERMAN HAD JUST WRAPPED UP A CONFERENCE CALL WITH HIS INVESTORS AND ACCORDING TO THOSE INVESTORS WHO WERE ON THE CALL, MR. COOPERMAN SAID THE FOLLOWING, THAT "THE INVESTIGATION THAT'S ONGOING WON'T HAVE A MEANINGFUL IMPACT IN THE FIRM'S ABILITY TO SERVE ITS INVESTORS, THAT THE LAWYERS WILL VIGOROUSLY FIGHT CHARGES IF IN FACT THERE ARE ANY. REMEMBER, A WELLS NOTICE IS NOT SAYING THAT THERE ARE CHARGES. IT'S THE EXPECTATIONS THAT ONCE MAY BE BROUGHT AGAINST MR. COOPERMAN AND HIS FIRM. HE ALSO SAID THAT THE WELLS NOTICE CONCERNS THE UNTIMELY S.E.C. FILINGS IN A HANDFUL OF COMPANIES AND, AGAIN, ACCORDING THOSE WHO ARE ON THE SPECIFIC CALL, HE CALLED THAT, "PILING ON." HE SAID HE OFFERED TO MEET WITH THE S.E.C. ENFORCEMENT STAFF A YEAR AGO, BUT THEY REFUSED. REMEMBER, IT WAS NEARLY A YEAR AGO IN THE SPRING OF LAST YEAR WHERE WE LEARNED THAT MR. COOPERMAN'S FIRM HAD RECEIVED SUBPOENAS FROM THE U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE IN NEW JERSEY. AND ALSO THE S.E.C., AGAIN, HE OFFERED TO MEET WITH THE STAFF A YEAR AGO. THEY HAD REFUSED. HE SAYS NOW, ACCORDING TO THOSE ON THE CALL, THAT HE WILL RESPOND TO THE S.E.C. BY THE END OF THE MONTH. HE SAID, "WE CAN DEFINITIVELY PROVE THAT WE'VE DONE NOTHING WRONG. WE'RE NOT GOING TO LET S.E.C. CHANGE OUR REPUTATION." ONE THAT HE TOLD THE GROUP THAT WAS GATHERED THAT HE SPENT 50 YEARS BUILDING. HE SAID THERE WAS NO PATTERN OF INSIDER TRADING, THAT HE BELIEVES EVERYTHING WILL BE RESOLVED FAVORABLY. THOSE WERE THE WORDS THAT HE USED, AND THAT HE WAS VERY COMFORTABLE IN HIS POSITION. BUT, AGAIN, SPEAKING DIRECTLY TO MR. COOPERMAN MYSELF JUST A FEW MOMENTS AGO, HE TOLD ME, "WE BELIEVE WE'VE DONE NOTHING WRONG" AND THAT IT CENTERS ON ATLAS PIPELINE, A STOCK THEY HAD OWNED FOR YEARS BEGINNING IN 2007, BUT ONE THAT THEY HAD SOLD AS OF 2015. SO MR. COOPERMAN IS SPEAKING OUT TONIGHT TO CNBC AND CALLING HIS INVESTORS, HOPING TO REASSURE THEM THAT HE WILL IN FACT BE CLEARED TELLING THEM THAT HE BELIEVES THAT THEY HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG.
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