Oppenheimer Funds’ 529 Plans are facing complaints amid allegations of mismanagement of its college education funds. The State of Oregon has already sued Oppenheimer Funds to recover money lost by members of the plan and the Attorney Generals of Illinois, Maine, New Mexico and Texas are also investigating investments made by Oppenheimer Funds in their respective 529 plans. The State of Oregon’s lawsuit alleges mismanagement of a nominally conservative bond fund in which Plan funds are invested. According to the Oregon Attorney General’s Office, Oppenheimer Funds began investing in highly aggressive and risky investments notwithstanding the conservative nature of the fund. Over the past comparable one-year period, the Oppenheimer Fund fell 36%, while the Barclay’s Aggregate Bond Index, the Index to which the fund compared itself, rose 5% during the same period.
Investors in these states and other states for whom Oppenheimer Funds manages the 529 Plans may have breached their contracts and their fiduciary duties with plan members. This may give rise to legal claims that can be pursued by plan members in arbitration. Oppenheimer Funds have come under recent scrutiny by regulators and have been the subject of arbitrations and lawsuits in matters unrelated to 529 plans.
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