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Houston Panel Awards Customer $1.07 Million Against Oppenheimer

A three-member Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) panel has found in favor of a Houston, Texas investor after 8 days of arbitration. The Statement of Claim filed by Lloyd Gillespie in 2009 sought $4,000,000 in collective damages against Oppenheimer & Co., Inc., Aegis Capital Corp. and Joseph Gunnar & Co., LLC.

The customer alleged that the FINRA members violated the Texas Securities Act, were negligent, committed common law fraud, breached their contracts with the investor, and negligently supervised his accounts. Gillespie claimed that firms wrongfully concentrated his investment portfolio in highly speculative securities, including penny stocks, improperly traded on margin, and excessively traded his accounts to generate commissions.

According to the Award, the investor settled his claims with Aegis and Gunnar. The arbitrators found Oppenheimer liable to the investor and awarded compensatory damages of $848,248, plus pre- and post-judgment interest. In addition, the arbitrators assessed $174,000 in attorneys’ fees and $52,304 in costs against Oppenheimer.

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