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Oppenheimer Broker Fined and Suspended by FINRA for Falsifying Letters of Authorization

Stephen Oberman, a registered representative formerly employed with the Chicago, Illinois based Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. (Oppenheimer), submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent in which he consented to, but did not admit to or deny, the described sanctions and the entry of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) findings that he falsified signatures on at least 51 letters of authorization (LOAs) requesting fund disbursements from and address changes to a customer’s account.

FINRA’s findings stated that while serving as a General Securities Representative at Oppenheimer, Stephen Mark Oberman, of Naperville, Illinois, was assigned to the account of a customer that had a trust with three trustees. Mr. Oberman falsified the trustees’ signatures by photocopying their signatures from other firm documents and cutting and pasting them onto the LOAs. Even after two of the trustees had died, Mr. Oberman continued to falsify their signatures, only disclosing this to Oppenheimer after learning that two of the three trustees were deceased.

For violating NASD Rule 2110 and FINRA Rule 2010, Mr. Oberman was fined $10,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for four months. The suspension is in effect from February 1, 2016 through May 31, 2016.

Stockbrokers, registered representatives, and other financial industry professionals have been known to engage in many types of fraudulent and unlawful behavior which violate industry rules and procedures. In order to protect investors from such misconduct, FINRA rules require broker-dealers to establish and implement a reasonable supervisory system in order to safeguard customer assets. Some of the supervisory tasks related to LOAs include identifying the customer, collecting signature specimens from the customer, reviewing and comparing signatures on the LOA, and following up with the customer before transferring funds and securities from any clients account. If broker-dealers and their supervisors do not establish and implement these protective measures, they may be liable to account holders for investment losses. As a result, account holders who have suffered losses stemming from a registered representative’s misconduct and/or a brokerage firm’s failure to supervise can file a claim to recover damages against broker-dealers like Oppenheimer & Co., which have a duty to supervise its employees in order to prevent the above-described misconduct.

Have you suffered losses in your Oppenheimer account due to falsified LOAs and/other any other type of prohibited conduct? If so, call Robert Pearce at the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. for a free consultation. Mr. Pearce is accepting clients with valid claims against Oppenheimer & Co. stockbrokers who may have engaged in misconduct and caused investors losses.

The most important of investors’ rights is the right to be informed! This Investors’ Rights blog post is by the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., located in Boca Raton, Florida. For over 35 years, Attorney Pearce has tried, arbitrated, and mediated hundreds of disputes involving complex securities, commodities and investment law issues. The lawyers at our law firm are devoted to protecting investors’ rights throughout the United States and internationally! Please visit our website, www.secatty.com, post a comment, call (800) 732-2889, or email Mr. Pearce at pearce@rwpearce.com for answers to any of your questions about this blog post and/or any related matter.