Can I recover damages for overconcentration by Oppenheimer & Co, Inc.?

A failure to diversify your account, particularly in volatile sectors like the energy sector, could mean you have a claim to recover your market losses. If you were a customer of Oppenheimer & Co, Inc. and have suffered losses in your account due to a lack of diversification, the Investment Recovery Team at Halling & Cayo may be able to help. Our team represents investors all over the country and only charges a fee if we recover money for you.

A broker working for Oppenheimer Co. Inc. is involved in a customer dispute alleging $1.1 million dollars in damages for misrepresentation of funds for investments beginning in 2011. According to FINRA’s (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.) BrokerCheck site, claimants allege that Timothy Roger Atyeo, who has worked for the Florida-based brokerage firm for the past 17 years, was negligent, breached fiduciary duty, and over concentrated and misrepresented speculative trading in the energy sector from 2011 to 2019. 

Atyeo was also named in three other suits since 2010, two of which have settled. The case from 2010 alleged that Oppenheimer misrepresented an auction rate security as cash equivalents. Ultimately the company agreed to buy back the claimant’s $50,000 of the ARS positions, according to FINRA. The other suit, brought in 2016, claimed Atyeo recommended unsuitable investments and he agreed to pay a $30,000 settlement. In 2017, a client made a complaint alleging Atyeo made investments that were too risky and lacked diversification but the case was later denied. Although the lawsuit against Atyeo began in July, 2019 and is still pending litigation, the lack of regulation in the energy sector is an ongoing issue.

Even before the global pandemic took hold, the oil and gas industry was going through turbulent times. The markets have seen a jump as of the beginning of May, as oil producers pull back on production, however it remains to be seen whether it will go back to the way it was. Anyone looking to invest should always keep diversity in mind, especially during these volatile times. “Alongside time, diversification is, perhaps, the most valuable weapon investors have,” according to an article from Fidelity.co. 

The Securities Team at Halling & Cayo, S.C.

If your broker had you over-exposed to the market, and you suffered significant losses in your account, you may have a claim to recover those losses in a FINRA Arbitration. The Investment Recovery Team at Halling & Cayo, S.C. can help. We take cases all over the country, and we only get paid if we win. Contact us to set up a meeting to review your case.


Sean M. Sweeney is a shareholder at Halling and Cayo, a full service law firm in Milwaukee, WI and the head of its Securities Litigation team.

He represents individual and institutional investors in FINRA arbitration and court nationwide. He recovers investment losses from fraud or breach of duty from their broker-dealer.

Contact him at (414) 755-5020 or via e-mail at SMS@hallingcayo.com to see if he can help recover funds.