Last week, we reported that former JP Morgan Broker Michael Oppenheim of New York had been charged with stealing $20 million from his clients. According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Oppenheim (CRD# 3021013) maintained his scheme from 2011 until October 2014, telling his clients that their money was going toward safe municipal bonds, all the while putting their money into his own brokerage accounts, which he then lost after participating in risky options trading.
Any investor who loses money through their broker/financial advisor’s fraud or misconduct does have the opportunity to fight for their money back, but they must do so through a process known as FINRA arbitration. Stockbroker misconduct claims are handled through FINRA arbitration, rather than before a judge or jury, because most contracts between brokers and their clients contain a provision outlining the details of how disputes must be handled.
There are actually many benefits to handling a stockbroker misconduct claim through arbitration, including:
- Affordability – FINRA arbitration generally costs less than going to trial
- Time – It typically takes less time to reach a resolution going the arbitration route
- Choice – Claimants who go through arbitration usually have the option of having their case heard by “all public” arbitrators or with the addition of an “industry” arbitrator
Meyer Wilson, a law firm dedicated to representing investors in FINRA Arbitration, is currently investigating charges against Michael J. Oppenheim, formerly of JP Morgan, that he stole millions of his clients’ investment dollars. If Oppenheim was your broker at any point from 2011 to October 2014, we invite you to contact us today for a free evaluation of your case.