The law firm of Gana Weinstein LLP is investigating the Oppenheimer Global Resource Private Equity Fund. In August 2013, the SEC began investigating the Oppenheimer Global Resource Private Equity Fund for misleading investors about the valuation and performance of the fund. According to the SEC, the fund manager, Brian Williamson was barred from the industry and fined $100,000 for overstating the value of the fund’s holdings by over 18%. Williamson is a resident of Newtown, Pennsylvania. Williamson was an Oppenheimer employee from 2005 through 2011. In March 2013, the SEC also charged two investment advisers with misleading investors about the valuation and performance of the fund. The SEC order found that the Oppenheimer employees made the following misrepresentations to its clients:
1. That the increase in the funds value was due to performance when in fact it was due to a new valuation method;
2. That a third-party valuation firm wrote up the valuation; and
3. That the underlying assets in the Oppenheimer Global Resource Private Equity Fund were independently audited.
None of this was true. Earlier in 2013, Oppenheimer agreed to pay $2.8 million in a settlement of related charges. According to the SEC, “Investors deserve and the law requires honest disclosure about how their investments are valued, [the Oppenheimer Global Resource Private Equity Fund] improperly lured investors to the private equity fund…”
The fund was marketed to pensions, foundations, endowments and individuals with devastating returns. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, in June 2009, Williamson’s markups falsely increased the funds rate of return form approximately 3.8% to 38.38%. The fund failed to take into account various expenses and fees. “Interim valuations are especially important when used to raise funds in the private equity industry,” said Julie M. Riewe, Co-Chief of the SEC Division of Enforcement’s Asset Management Unit. “Private fund managers must provide investors with accurate disclosures about valuation methodologies as well as fund fees and expenses so they can make fully informed investment choices.”
The SEC’s order alleged that Williamson, who lives in Newtown, Pa., willfully violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, and Rule 10b-5, and Section 206(4) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and Rule 206(4)-8. The attorney general of Massachusetts is assisting in the SEC’s investigation and was also able to get Oppenheimer to pay an additional penalty of $132,421.
The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have extensive experience uncovering this type of misleading behavior and helps individual and institutional investors recovery money lost as a result of this type of conduct. If you invested in the Oppenheimer Global Resource Private Equity Fund and would like to speak to an attorney, contact us Adam Gana directly at 212-776-4251.