The SEC and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network Fines Oppenheimer over Penny Stock Sales
The regulators, in assessing the fines, cited Oppenheimer‘s failure to recognize suspicious transactions by offshore clients who apparently were undertaking a penny stock-based “pump and dump” scheme by depositing shares of thinly traded or unregistered penny stocks into their Oppenheimer brokerage accounts. The firm in turn then sold off the penny stock shares and immediately wired the proceeds out of the client accounts.
Under the terms of the regulatory settlement with the SEC, Oppenheimer admitted to facts around two distinct violations involving money laundering and agreed to paying $10 million in fines and disgorgement of any fees or commissions. The SEC director of enforcement stated the penalties “reflect the magnitude of Oppenheimer’s regulatory failures.”
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