Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. has settled a securities fraud-related administrative complaint filed against it by the state of Massachusetts for auction-rate securities sales to local residents. The broker-dealer will redeem 60 of the accounts with ARS. The other 10 accounts will be offered “enhanced liquidity.”
According to Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin, who had sought to make the investment firm repurchase up to $55.5 million in ARS that were sold in the state, 85% of Oppenheimer’s Massachusetts customer accounts will be completely redeemed over one year.
Galvin contends in his complaint that Oppenheimer misrepresented ARS and the ARS market when marketing to clients. He says that although company’s employees sold their ARS when they found out that the market was collapsing, they failed to notify investors about the unfolding crisis.
Galvin will submit a cease-and-desist order and findings against the broker-dealer over its unethical and dishonest conduct and the failure to properly supervise agents when they marketed and sold ARS. The redemptions will take place in three steps.
Oppenheimer also recently settled its ARS case filed by New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo on behalf of investors in his state, as well as throughout the US, for $31 million.
Related Web Resources:
Oppenheimer Settles Massachusetts Auction-Rate Case (Update3), BusinessWeek, February 24, 2010
Oppenheimer, Cuomo reach $31M agreement, LegalNewsline.com
William Francis Galvin, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
If you are an investor whose funds were frozen when the ARS market collapsed, contact our securities fraud law firm today.