Fresh off a settlement with government regulators regarding insider trading charges, hedge fund titan Leon Cooperman said he would have won the case but chose to settle instead.
Cooperman's firm agreed earlier this month to a $4.9 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission after allegations of insider trading. As part of the settlement, Omega Advisors admitted to no wrongdoing.
In a live interview Tuesday with CNBC, Cooperman said his lawyers assured him his case was solid, but that proceeding with a trial would have been difficult.
"My lawyers told me that the probability of my winning would be overwhelmingly high, that if I didn't win it had nothing to do with the merits of the case," he said. "It would have to do with the fact that I'm a former Goldman partner, I'm a hedge fund manager, I'm wealthy. Those are enough factoids that impress juries."
His lawyers also told him that the cost of a trial could hit $20 million due to appeals the government likely would have filed if it had lost.
Cooperman said the SEC initially had offered a settlement of $9 million and a five-year ban from the industry, which he rejected. The ban in particular essentially would have taken the 74-year-old Cooperman out of business for life.