FINRA fined Oppenheimer and Co., Inc. $1,425,000 after finding that Oppenheimer sold more than a billion shares of 20 unregistered penny stocks.
Oppenheimer was also sanctioned for failure to supervise and conduct adequate supervisory reviews and for failing to conduct adequate due diligence in not focusing its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) program on securities transactions, including penny stock trades.
According to the findings, from 2008 through 2010, Oppenheimer sold the shares of low-priced, highly speculative penny stock securities without registration or exemption, allowing customers to purchase large quantities of penny stocks before liquidating the stocks and transferring proceeds out of their accounts.
FINRA believes that each transaction produced numerous "red flags" that should have been identified by Oppenheimer. Because Oppenheimer failed to conduct adequate supervisory reviews and failed to maintain an adequate AML program, according to FINRA, these red flags were missed and the suspicious transactions allowed to continue undetected.
According to Oppenheimer's FINRA BrokerCheck, the firm was previously sanctioned on January 31, 2012 for failure to supervise and unsuitability related to the sale of unregistered penny stocks. At the time, FINRA ordered Oppenheimer pay a fine of $125,000.
If you have invested with Oppenheimer and Co., Inc. or with any firm or broker whose sale of unregistered or unsuitable products, such as penny stocks, or whose failure to maintain adequate supervisory systems contributed to misconduct that has proven harmful to your investments or interests, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.