Lynn Tilton, the so-called “diva of distressed debt,” said the Securities and Exchange Commission’s eight-year fraud investigation cost her tens of millions of dollars in legal fees she could have invested in companies and took a personal toll on her and her employees.

Tilton appeared on CNBC’s “Power Lunch” Thursday, one day after an SEC administrative court judge dismissed the fraud case, saying the agency’s allegations were “unproven.”

But Tilton said she didn’t settle to put the matter behind her because she wanted to “fight for my truth.”

“People told me it would be nearly impossible to win,” she said.

Tilton has been fighting the SEC’s administrative case for two years, though the agency’s investigation reaches back eight years. Tilton’s firm, Patriarch Partners, invests in distressed assets such as loans. The SEC accused it of misleading investors and collecting $200 million in extra management fees.

Tilton had fought to have the case moved to federal court, going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in that fight only to have her petition denied in May.

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