As part of concurrent settlements with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. (Oppenheimer) has admitted it is guilty and agreed to pay $20 million for engaging in unregistered sales of penny stocks.
According to the SEC Order, one Oppenheimer Financial Advisor and his immediate supervisor, an Oppenheimer Branch Office Manager, engaged in the sales of 2.5 billion shares of unregistered penny stocks for an investor customer. Those trades generated $12 million, of which Oppenheimer was paid $588,400 in commissions. The SEC Order states further that Oppenheimer personnel was aware of red flags indicative of illegal unregistered penny stock trades and failed to property follow up on those warning signs. Further, Oppenheimer failed to supervise its employees by failing to establish procedures to ensure its employees comply with Section 5 of the Securities Act. Continue reading →