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Oppenheimer & Company: 250+ Customer and Regulatory Complaints

Oppenheimer & Company Public records published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and accessed on April 3, 2019 indicate that Nebraska-based broker-dealer firm Oppenheimer & Company has received more than 250 complaints from customers and regulatory authorities. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding Oppenheimer & Company (CRD# 249).

Established in New York in 1954, Oppenheimer & Company is headquartered in New York, New York and registered with 53 US states and territories. According to its BrokerCheck report, it has received 93 regulatory sanctions and 172 customer complaints that evolved into arbitration and resulted in awards to the customer.

In March 2019 the SEC sanctioned Oppenheimer & Company in connection to allegations it breached its fiduciary duty and provided inadequate disclosures in connection to its mutual fund share class selection processes, resulting in customers investing in mutual fund share classes accompanied by 12B-1 fees when they were eligible for share classes with lower costs. The firm was censured and ordered to pay disgorgement of more than $3.1 million.

In November 2018 the State of Nevada sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations it failed to obtain proper licensure between 2003 and 2015 and additionally that it engaged in securities-related business without first obtaining a license. The firm was ordered to pay a fine of $8,000.

In March 2018 a customer alleged the firm breached its fiduciary duty, churned investments, committed fraud, misrepresented and omitted material facts, executed unauthorized trades, made unsuitable investment recommendations, acted negligently, violated blue sky laws, and failed in its supervisory duties in connection to investments in common stock and other securities. The complaint resulted in an award to the customer of more than $250,400.

In 2017 the Chicago Board Options Exchange sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations that “in at least 1.5 million instances,” it failed to submit reportable positions to the LOPR; submitted inaccurate reports; and failed in various supervisory capacities. The firm was censured and issued a fine of $700,000.

In 2016 FINRA sanctioned Oppenheimer & Company in connection to allegations, among others, that it failed in its supervisory duties pertaining to sales charge waivers, producing certain documents to customers who had filed arbitrations, and making filings to FINRA in a timely manner. The firm was censured and issued a fine of $1,575,000.

In 2016 the State of Michigan sanctioned the firm following allegations it failed to timely submit application materials for forty representatives. The firm was issued a fine of $900,000.

In 2016 FINRA sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations it did not report “short interest positions on multiple settlement dates” and that it made inaccurate reports of short positions. The firm was censured and issued a fine of $275,000, and undertook to revise its written supervisory procedures.

In 2016 FINRA sanctioned the firm following allegations it failed in its supervisory duties regarding the sales of leveraged, inverse, and inverse-leveraged exchange-traded funds, also known as non-traditional exchange traded funds, including by failing to adequately train supervisors and representatives on a prohibition against soliciting non-traditional ETF purchases. The firm was censured and issued a fine of $2,250,000.

In 2016 the South Carolina Securities Division sanctioned the firm following allegations it failed to detect and report the activities of a former registered representative, Mark Hotton, in connection to his recommendation that a client invest in private placements. The firm was issued a fine of $150,000.

In 2016 a customer alleged the firm breached its fiduciary duty, misrepresented material facts, recommended unsuitable investments, failed in its supervisory duties, acted negligently, executed unauthorized trades, and breached its fiduciary duty in connection to investments in exchange-traded funds, options, and structured products. The complaint resulted in an award to the customer of $800,000.

In 2016 a customer alleged the firm committed fraud, misrepresented and omitted material facts, breached its fiduciary duty, recommended unsuitable investments, failed in its supervisory duties, and acted negligently. The complaint resulted in an award to the customer of more than $862,100.

In 2015 FINRA sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations it executed customer transactions in a municipal security product “in an amount lower than the minimum denomination of the issue” and also that the firm did not fully disclose material facts regarding municipal securities transactions. The firm was censured and issued a fine of $200,000.In 2015 the Department of the Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations it willfully violated the Bank Secrecy Act, including by failing to implement an effective anti-money laundering program, failing to implement an effective due diligence program for a foreign correspondent account, and failing to comply with certain notification requirements. The firm was issued a fine of $20,000,000.

In 2015 the New Mexico Securities Division sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations it failed to supervise a respondent who made unsuitable investment recommendations. The firm was issued a fine of $215,000.

In 2015 the State of Delaware sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations it failed to supervise a representative and to comply with “certain aspects of its compliance system.” It was issued a fine of $685,000.

In 2015 the SEC sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations it performed inadequate due diligence in certain offerings and consequently did not form a reasonable basis for believing in certain material representations in official statements distributed as part of those offerings, causing the offering and sale of municipal securities products that were based on materially misleading documents. The firm was issued a fine of $400,000.

In 2015 FINRA sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations it failed in its supervisory duties regarding a registered representative who misappropriated funds from clients and engaged in excessive trading of their accounts. The firm was censured and issued a fine of $2.5 million.

In 2015 the SEC sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations it “executed sales of billions of shares of penny stocks for an account in the name of its customer,” a Bahamas-licensed broker-dealer that acted as a broker in the United States although it was not registered as such; according to the SEC’s findings, Oppenheimer & Company was aware the customer was “executing transactions and providing brokerage services for its customers, many of whom were U.S. persons,” in spite of this lack of registration. The SEC alleged that Oppenheimer & Company was aware that “knew or should of known” that an IRS withholding form provided to the firm by the customer was false, and consequently the firm did not properly withhold and remit taxes. The SEC alleged that the firm ultimately “willfully aided and abetted” the customer’s violations. It was censured and issued a fine of $5,078,129.

In 2015 FINRA sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations it failed in its supervisory duties regarding the extension of margin credit for foreign sovereign bonds. The firm was censured and issued a fine of $250,000.

In 2015 a customer alleged the firm breached its fiduciary duty, misrepresented material facts, omitted material facts, recommended unsuitable investments, failed in its supervisory duties, breached contract, and churned investments. The complaint resulted in an award to the customer of $115,000.

In 2014 a customer alleged the firm breached its fiduciary duty, misrepresented and omitted material facts, and failed in its supervisory duties. The complaint resulted in an award to the customer of more than $915,600.

In 2013 FINRA sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations it charged “an unfair and unreasonable price” in certain municipal securities transactions and had an inadequate supervisory system. The firm was censured and issued a fine of $675,000.

In 2013 FINRA sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations it sold unregistered penny stock investments. The firm was censured and issued a fine of $1,425,000.

In 2009 the Florida Office of Financial Regulation sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations it had inadequate written supervisory procedures concerning loans taken from clients. The firm was issued a fine of $5,000.

In 2009 the SEC sanctioned the firm in connection to allegations it failed to supervise an employee who violated federal securities laws by “provid[ing] a trader at another broker-dealer with secret gratuities and entertainment in exchange from an increase in order flow… for execution” at prices that were favorable for Oppenheimer and detrimental to the other firm. Oppenheimer & Company was censured and issued a fine of $850,000.

In 2001 a customer alleged the firm breached its fiduciary duty, engaged in churning, executed unauthorized trades, and made unsuitable investment recommendations. The complaint resulted in an award to the customer of $80,000.

In 2001 a customer alleged the firm breached contract, failed in its supervisory duties, acted negligently, and made erroneous charges. The complaint resulted in an award to the customer of $150,312.

In 2001 a customer alleged the firm made misrepresentations of material facts, churned investments, recommended unsuitable securities, and breached its fiduciary duty. The complaint resulted in an award to the customer of more than $392,900.

In 1996 a customer alleged the firm made misrepresentations and omissions of material facts, failed in its supervisory duties, and made unsuitable investment recommendations. The complaint resulted in an award to the customer of $175,000.

In 1996 a customer alleged the firm breached contract, breached its fiduciary duty, acted negligently, and failed in its supervisory duties in connection to investments in common stock and warrants/rights. The complaint resulted in an award to the customer of more than $980,800.

In 1995 a customer alleged the firm churned investments, breached its fiduciary duty, recommended unsuitable products, and failed in its supervisory duties. The complaint resulted in an award to the customer of $269,305.

In 1992 a customer alleged the firm acted negligently, breached contract, breached its fiduciary duty, and failed in its supervisory duties. The complaint resulted in an award to the customer of $312,000.

If you or someone you know has a complaint regarding Oppenheimer & Company, call Fitapelli Kurta at 877-238-4175 for a free consultation. You may be able to recover lost funds. Fitapelli Kurta accepts all cases on contingency: we only get paid if and when you collect money. You may have a limited window to file your complaint, so we encourage you to avoid delay. Call 877-238-4175 now to speak to an attorney for free.

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