J.P. Morgan Stockbroker Barred By SEC For Fraud

Michael Jeffrey Oppenheim of New York New York a stockbroker formerly employed by J.P. Morgan Securities LLC has been barred by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from being a stockbroker or investment advisor or otherwise associating with securities broker dealers or investment advisory firms according to an Order Instituting Administrative Proceedings pursuant to Securities Exchange Act of 1934 Section 10(b) and Investment Advisers Act Section 203(f) based upon findings of Oppenheim committing securities fraud. In the Matter of Michael J. Oppenheim Administrative Proceeding File No. 3-17397 (Aug. 16, 2016).

According to the Order, SEC based its decision to bar Oppenheim on two major factors – a Complaint that the SEC filed against Oppenheim alleging that he defrauded investors, and Oppenheim having pleaded guilty to committing criminal securities fraud and embezzlement.

Particularly, a complaint was filed by SEC alleging that when Oppenheim was a private client advisor, two of his customers were steered towards liquidating more than twelve million dollars because they were promised that their funds would be utilized by Oppenheim to effect conservative municipal bond or municipal bond fund purchases. The Complaint alleged that the customers’ funds were not invested by Oppenheim as he promised. Rather, the funds were used by Oppenheim to purchase cashier’s checks, and those checks were placed into a brokerage account under Oppenheim’s control. Thereafter, most of the funds Oppenheim misappropriated from customers were lost because of Oppenheim trading speculative options products. SEC alleged that Oppenheim’s conduct in this regard was violative of Securities Exchange Act of 1934 Section 10(b), SEC Rule 10b-5 and Advisers Act Sections 206(1) and 206(2).

SEC also noted that Oppenheim pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud and one count of embezzlement; conduct collectively violative of 15 U.S.C. § 78ff and 78j(b); 17 C.F.R. § 240.10b-5; and 18 U.S.C. §§ 3571 and 656. United States v. Michael Oppenheim Case No. 15 Cr. 548 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 5, 2015). Oppenheim reportedly consented to forfeiting more than twenty million dollars that he misappropriated from customers. Supposedly, Oppenheim’s customers were lied to in the course of his misappropriation; Oppenheim led them to believe that their funds were being transferred to conservative bond investments. Evidently, Oppenheim was handed a five year prison sentence for defrauding investors.

Oppenheim has also been barred from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity based upon consenting to findings that Oppenheim failed to cooperate with a FINRA investigation into accusations of Oppenheim’s misappropriation of customer funds. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent No. 2015044987101 (July 13, 2015). The AWC stated that FINRA sought information from Oppenheim concerning allegations of Oppenheim’s misappropriation of twenty million dollars between 2011 and 2015; his creation of bogus account statements and alterations of customer forms; and Oppenheim’s failure to inform J.P. Morgan Securities LLC about outside investment accounts. FINRA indicated that Oppenheim was asked to testify regarding his activities, and he was warned about his failure to comply serving as an adequate basis for FINRA to take disciplinary action. FINRA found Oppenheim’s refusal to comply in the investigation as conduct violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210.

FINRA Public Disclosure additionally confirms that Oppenheim is referenced in a customer initiated investment related written complaint which was resolved for $60,281.37 on May 18, 2017 supported by accusations that while Oppenheim was associated with J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, funds were misappropriated from the customer’s account.

Oppenheim was discharged from J.P. Morgan Securities LLC based on allegations that he altered documents and reused customer signatures to effect transactions.