Oppenheimer paying $20M in US settlements on penny stock sales, money laundering controls

Markets Associated Press

Oppenheimer & Co. is paying $20 million in civil settlements with U.S. regulators who accused the investment firm of improper sales of penny stocks and inadequate controls against money laundering.

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The investment firm agreed to pay $10 million and is admitting wrongdoing in its settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Tuesday. Oppenheimer also is paying $10 million in a settlement with the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, known as FinCEN.

The SEC said Oppenheimer sold billions of shares of penny stocks in unregistered offerings on behalf of customers, ignoring red flags and aiding the customers' illegal activity. Oppenheimer admitted in its agreement with FinCEN that it failed to maintain an adequate program to prevent money laundering.

New York-based Oppenheimer said it was pleased to resolve the matter.