Oppenheimer Censured Over Broker Commissions

September 15, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Federal regulators have censured OppenheimerFunds Inc., mutual fund unit of MassMutual Financial Group, and agreed to change the way it pays brokers.

The agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) settles accusations that OppenheimerFunds used shareholder funds to cut marketing costs, Bloomberg reported.

According to the SEC, OppenheimerFunds hid from the mutual funds’ boards that it was using brokerage commissions for some fund trades to reduce payments to broker-dealers.

OppenheimerFunds has already voluntarily reimbursed its funds $15.8 million, the SEC said. Because of the payment, the agency decided not to order OppenheimerFunds to surrender $13.9 million in penalties or interest or face a civil penalty.