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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Oppenheimer Settles Another 529 Suit

Reported by Patricia Kelly

OppenheimerFunds hammered out a third 529 settlement in a month. On Tuesday, the New York City-based fund firm settled with with the state of Illinois for $77.23 million, Crain's Chicago Business' Greg Hinz reports. This comes on the wake of OppFunds' settlements with Oregon on November 20 and New Mexico on December 16.

According to Hinz, the payment will partially cover losses in Oppenheimer's Core Plus Fund from January 1, 2008 through January, 25, 2009, according to the report. Yet OppFunds has a different perspective on the deal.

"On the part of Oppenheimer Funds, the settlement was reached to resolve investigations into the Bright Start college savings plan, not to compensate for losses in the Oppenheimer Core Bond Fund," OppFunds spokeswoman Jeaneen Pisarra told The MFWire.

The Illinois settlement arrived with a bit more fanfare, thanks to the involvement of Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, who runs the state's Bright Start program and is currently vying for the Democratic nomination for Barack Obama's former Senate seat. Giannoulias, along with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan alleged that OppFunds mismanaged the funds by putting money into risky investments such as sub-prime mortgage securities rather than more conservative investment products. 

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