Oppenheimer & Co.
Oppenheimer Fined for Victimizing Widow
In July 2007, Oppenheimer & Co. was fined a million dollars by Massachusetts regulators for claims of supervisory failures after an Oppenheimer broker victimized a widow and the widow’s dying husband. The firm also paid more than a million to the widow. Oppenheimer was charged with failing to supervise its broker as that broker allegedly engaged in theft, fraud, churning and unauthorized trading in the account of an elderly couple. The firm consented to the order without admitting or denying the claims. The broker is currently under indictment for securities fraud.
Yet, abuse of the widow reportedly did not end with Oppenheimer’s failure to supervise. After personnel at the widow’s bank advised the widow to complain to Oppenheimer’s management, Oppenheimer apparently attempted to minimize the broker’s wrongdoing, which included $350,000 in forged checks, and allowed the broker to remain employed at Oppenheimer for a year until he resigned. During the investigation, Oppenheimer was also accused of making “false and misleading” statements and withholding emails from the state regulators.
Oppenheimer Ordered to Pay Customer $250,000
A New York Stock Exchange arbitration panel ordered Oppenheimer to pay an investor $250,000 to compensate her for damages that she suffered as a result of Oppenheimer’s misconduct. The investor alleged unsuitability, failure to supervise, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and violations of Pennsylvania statutes with respect to investments in technology stocks and other stocks purchased on margin.