Brian Williamson, a former Oppenheimer & Co. (OPY) portfolio manager, has consented to a securities industry bar and will pay $100,000 as a penalty to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The settlement resolves private equity fund fraud charges accusing him of making misrepresentation about one the value of one fund. In March, Oppenheimer paid over $2.8 million to settle SEC charges related to this matter.
According to the SEC, Williamson allegedly put out information that falsely claimed that the reported value of the largest investment of one of the funds came from the underlying fund’s portfolio manager when actually, Williamson as the manager of the funds, was the one who gave value to the investment. He purportedly marked up the value significantly higher than what the portfolio manager of the underlying fund had estimated. Williamson then gave prospective fund investors marketing collateral that included a misleading internal return rate that failed to subtract the fund’s expenses and fees. The Commission says Williamson made statements that were misleading and false to different parties to conceal the fraud.
The SEC’s order says that Williamson was in willful violation of sections and rules of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Securities Act of 1933, and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. The industry bar against him will run for at least two years. The ex-Oppenheimer fund manager consented to settle without deny or admitting to the securities charges.
It is important that financial advisors provide complete, truthful, and accurate information about investments to investors. They also need to make sure that their clients understand the nature of the investment and any risks involved.
Former Oppenheimer Fund Manager Agrees to Settle Fraud Charges, SEC, January 22, 2014
Read the SEC’s order (PDF)
More Blog Posts:
Oppenheimer Told by FINRA to Pay $675,000 Fine, $246,000 Restitution over Municipal Securities Transaction Pricing, Supervisory Violations, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, December 12, 2013
Former Merrill Lynch, Oppenheimer, Deutsche Bank Broker is Ordered by FINRA To Pay Investor $11M Over Alleged Securities Fraud, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, April 19, 2013
Two Oppenheimer Investment Advisers Settle for Over $2.8M SEC Fraud Charges Over Private Equity Fund, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, March 14, 2013