Date: August 7, 2013
The attorneys at Shepherd, Smith, Edwards & Kantas LLP are investigating claims by investors with Oppenheimer & Co. Although the firm’s investigations are usually target more specifically at particular conduct of a firm or broker, Oppenheimer & Co.’s supervisory system has been found so woefully inadequate by numerous regulators and arbitration Panels over the last several years that almost any trading strategy permitted in Oppenheimer customer accounts becomes suspect.
For example, in 2008 the Massachusetts Securities Division filed suit against Oppenheimer for its sales of Auction Rate Securities (ARSs). Specifically, the regulator alleged that Oppenheimer marketed ARSs as safe alternatives to money markets and certificate of deposits (CDs). In actuality, ARSs are complex debt securities that can suffer complete failures and ultimately leave the investor holdings a completely illiquid asset with no way to get their money back out. The regulator further claimed that Oppenheimer was aware of many disruptions and failures that occurred in the ARS market in 2007, but blithely ignored these warnings. Oppenheimer did not investigate the potential ramifications for the ARS securities that had been, and were currently being, sold to their clients. Oppenheimer did not warn its clients of these warning signs.