Ex-JP Morgan Banker Charged with Stealing $20 Million from Clients
A former JPMorgan Chase & Co. investment adviser was arrested Thursday, November 6 and charged with taking at least $20 million out of client accounts and using it to unsuccessfully trade options and pay personal expenses. Broker theft is one of the most egregious forms of stockbroker fraud.
According to a lawsuit filed by the SEC, the broker, Michael Oppenheim, took client money for about three years and lost or spent nearly all of it. Beginning in 2011, Oppenheim allegedly persuaded clients to let him withdraw money from their accounts, sometimes millions of dollars, purportedly to invest in low-risk municipal bonds. But rather than invest clients’ money as he had represented, Oppenheim allegedly used the money for cashier’s checks that he then deposited into brokerage accounts that he controlled. Oppenheim then reportedly traded stocks and options in those accounts, losing the bulk of the stolen client money. In addition to the unsuccessful and unauthorized stock and option trades, Oppenheim also allegedly used some of the stolen client money to pay bills and a home loan.
To cover up his embezzlement, Oppenheim apparently gave clients fraudulent account statements and moved money from one client account to another.
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If Oppenheim improperly took money from your JPMorgan account, contact an investment fraud attorney to discuss your legal rights.