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Quincy’s pension to receive $200,000 payback from misleading investment

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  March 27, 2013 03:08 PM

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Quincy’s pension fund will receive approximately $200,000 in settlement money from Oppenheimer Asset Management company after the group allegedly misled investors.

The settlement, a result of a joint investigation between the state Attorney General’s office and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s New York Regional Office, gives a total of $2.8 million to investors who were given faulty information.

In addition to Quincy, Brockton’s city pension fund will receive approximately $150,000. The state also fined the company $130,000.

The settlement also dictates that the company change its valuation policies and internal controls, after finding that the current safeguards failed to prevent the issue.

“Our office is pleased to be able to recover this money for investors, especially for the Massachusetts cities that were affected,” Attorney General Martha Coakley said in a release, issued mid-March. “We appreciate the cooperation of the SEC in this investigation and will continue to ensure that investors’ rights are protected from unfair and fraudulent practices.”

The Attorney General has been investigating for over a year, despite the fact that Oppenheimer conducted its own investigation in June 2011 but found nothing.

The look has proven worthwhile. According to the release, the investigation found that the alleged activity happened between October 2009 and June 2010, with Oppenhiemer marketing a faulty Oppenheimer Global Resource Private Equity Fund I” to investors.

The fund, which invests in other private equity funds, was mainly marketed to state entities. According to the release, the company overstated the value of the fund's largest investment, making it seem as if the fund was performing much better than manager estimates.

Retirement Board officials could not immediately be reached for comment, however officials from the mayor’s office said the money received will essentially be reinvested.

“It’s my understanding that the Attorney General worked very diligently on this issue over the course of a substantial period of time, and the mayor of course is grateful for the work that went into tit and to the result, which has a benefit to our retirement system,” said Christopher Walker, a spokesman for the mayor.

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