Ex-JPMorgan Broker Near Plea Deal Over $20 Million Theft

  • Michael Oppenheim scheduled to appear in court Thursday
  • Former worker accused of stealing $20 million over four years

A former JPMorgan Chase & Co. broker charged with stealing $20 million from customers over four years is close to a plea deal with U.S. prosecutors and scheduled to appear Thursday in Manhattan federal court.

Michael Oppenheim used the money to make his own investments and pay personal bills that included a home loan, the government said in April. His attorney, Paul Shechtman, said in an Oct. 22 court filing that Oppenheim was ready to plead guilty, and that an agreement was being finalized.

Oppenheim induced clients to withdraw hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars from their accounts by promising he’d invest the money in low-risk municipal bonds to be held at the bank, and then pocketed the cash instead, federal agents said in court papers earlier this year.

Shechtman didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment on the plea deal or the scheduled hearing. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan on Thursday wouldn’t confirm if a deal had been reached.

Oppenheim, who was fired by the bank in March, at one point had about 500 clients and almost $90 million under his management, according to the complaint. He was arrested on fraud and embezzlement charges at his home in Livingston, New Jersey.

When the charges were filed, New York-based JPMorgan said it was aiding customers who were affected by the alleged theft.

The case is U.S. v. Oppenheim, 15-mj-1255, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).