Oppenheimer Class Action Lawsuit Filed Over Champion Income Fund

A class action lawsuit has been brought on behalf of investors who purchased or held shares of the Oppenheimer Champion Income Fund between January 26, 2007 and December 9, 2008. The suit claims that fund managers failed to disclose the extent of risk associated with the fund and seeks to recover financial losses suffered by investors.

The Oppenheimer Fund lawsuit was filed on February 13, 2009, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York seeking to represent all shareholders as a class.

Investors claim that they purchased what they thought was a high-yield bond fund, and it was not disclosed that fund managers were placing their assets in unstable mortgage-backed securities and corporate bonds which carried significantly more risk than they knew they were exposed to.

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The Champion Fund shares began to decline in July 2008, as concerns about the financial industry’s poor underlying fundamentals increased. In September 2008, with the collapse of AIG and Lehman Brothers, the funds share prices sunk even further, ending the year with losses of 78%.

According to the Oppenheimer Champion Income Fund class action complaint, the defendants failed to disclose that they were no longer adhering to their stated objective of not taking any undue risk and were actually pursuing riskier investments to achieve greater yields. The plaintiffs also claim that the extent of the Fund’s leverage exposure was misstated and that material facts were omitted about the extent of their liquidity risk and the extent of their exposure to derivatives and other high risk instruments.

While the class action lawsuit seeks to pursue the interests of all investors, a number of those who have lost money are pursuing individual investment loss arbitration claims through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

In January 2009, two elderly investors filed what is believed to be the first FINRA arbitration claim over the Oppenheimer Champion Income Fund, stating that they lost $125,000.

19 Comments

  • JuilanneMarch 7, 2013 at 6:06 am

    Richard Mercier invested my retirement funds in Oppenheimer, much of it in Champion Income Fund, without telling me they were Junk Blonds. I, lost over 60% of my retirement. I was part of the class action lawsuit. I was told I could expect a settlement of 52K. The check, when it finally came, was for $295.00. When I protested, I was told the awards were based on 'market losses' not on rea[Show More]Richard Mercier invested my retirement funds in Oppenheimer, much of it in Champion Income Fund, without telling me they were Junk Blonds. I, lost over 60% of my retirement. I was part of the class action lawsuit. I was told I could expect a settlement of 52K. The check, when it finally came, was for $295.00. When I protested, I was told the awards were based on 'market losses' not on real losses. Double lass.

  • tonydApril 20, 2012 at 11:22 am

    I lost a substatial amount with this fund, I'm retired an depended on this investment to make my life financially comfortable. The investment counselor I used was not very good in watching out for my benefit, he was more concerned about his commisions. I want to know when we will receive more information on the settlement.

  • PeterNAugust 16, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    i was frauded $83,000 by the champion in come fund . . . living on a fixed income anf was dependent on it. on the verge of homelessness . . . a riddle . . . just like the loss of our investments. i can be found at newmanpjm at the emale that sizzling hot . . . let's uniite . . . tiime is running out . . . t

  • Lloyd BJuly 14, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    What is the status of the Class Action against the Oppenheimer Champion Income Funs? I owned a lot of it and have heard nothing.? Has anyone heard?

  • LarryDMarch 25, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    One other question: How can Oppenheimer have "settled" with states like Oregon and not have made it's retail investors whole, or offered to at least make them partially whole? Wouldn't settlements with state pension plans be an admission of guilt?

  • LarryDMarch 25, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    It is my understanding that many Oppenheimer funds also had Champion Income as part of their holdings, including Core Bond. The idiots running the fund in '08 (since fired) almost destroyed the entire company, and put a dent in numerous other Oppenheimer funds with their leveraged mortgage backed holdings. What I find most profoundly disturbing, and potentially criminal, is that these holdings w[Show More]It is my understanding that many Oppenheimer funds also had Champion Income as part of their holdings, including Core Bond. The idiots running the fund in '08 (since fired) almost destroyed the entire company, and put a dent in numerous other Oppenheimer funds with their leveraged mortgage backed holdings. What I find most profoundly disturbing, and potentially criminal, is that these holdings were not disclosed in the prospectus and upper management was asleep at the wheel while these guys were blowing up the fund and their investors. Does anyone know the details/current status of any class actions? I have yet to be contacted despite still owning the fund.

  • CHARLESNovember 1, 2010 at 12:14 am

    I AM 76 YEARS OLD ,DUE TO THE SUPIDITY OF MY FINANCIAL ADVISOR ILOST 80%OF MY CHAMPIONSHIP FUND $180.OOO DOLLARS

  • peterSeptember 24, 2010 at 10:11 am

    i got ripped off too for close to $80,000.00 . . I am unemployed and in financial dire straits at the age of 51. . paul . . /larry d . . martin. .. . john . . jjacqueline . . let's get organized . . then get tom girardi of girardi & keese in los angeles to represent us ias a group . . and hopefully wie will get a return like the state of oregon . .

  • paulSeptember 13, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    As a conservative investor I was assured that this was a safe,conservative fund. An 80% loss, given their fund description should be a criminal matter for them.

  • Larry DJuly 2, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Does anyone have an update on the number of states Oppenheimer has now settled with, the amounts of the settlements, and how any litigation on bahalf of the army of slaughtered retail investors is coming? I lost over 100K in this fraud (a willfull misrepresentation of investing strategy per their prospectus) and want to sign up with whomever is grated lead status in the class action.

  • MartinJune 23, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    I lost over $300,000 on Champion Income and found the prospectus very misleading dare I say hiding the truth. Oppenheimer should accept responsibility for its managers mismanaging and mis-representing the fund. The fund managers should also be subject to legal action. My advise to everyone, build your own mutual fund by making diverse investments. There's no need to make fund managers rich at [Show More]I lost over $300,000 on Champion Income and found the prospectus very misleading dare I say hiding the truth. Oppenheimer should accept responsibility for its managers mismanaging and mis-representing the fund. The fund managers should also be subject to legal action. My advise to everyone, build your own mutual fund by making diverse investments. There's no need to make fund managers rich at our expense.

  • JohnMay 16, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    I can't believe that Oppenheimer to my knowledge has never come forward with any information regarding the downfall of the champion income fund. My account is down $267,000 from 2008. This was our retirement fund along with social security, and I am now back to work full time because of this. What a black mark for Oppenheimer. We originally invested in the High Yield fund, but was automatically[Show More]I can't believe that Oppenheimer to my knowledge has never come forward with any information regarding the downfall of the champion income fund. My account is down $267,000 from 2008. This was our retirement fund along with social security, and I am now back to work full time because of this. What a black mark for Oppenheimer. We originally invested in the High Yield fund, but was automatically converted to the champion income fund.

  • JacquelineMay 3, 2010 at 12:19 am

    I am shocked and horrified that my little retirement savings have been swallowed up by the people that I trusted. The Oppenheimer should be responsible to return to the investors the money lost by the Manager they hired who took irresponsible risks on other people's livelihood. The money I lost without any hope in sight was the only money I had. It was not a fortune in the eyes of Oppenheimer[Show More]I am shocked and horrified that my little retirement savings have been swallowed up by the people that I trusted. The Oppenheimer should be responsible to return to the investors the money lost by the Manager they hired who took irresponsible risks on other people's livelihood. The money I lost without any hope in sight was the only money I had. It was not a fortune in the eyes of Oppenheimer but to me it was. Now at the age of 72 I had to get a job and continue working. It is a disgrace, I feel robbed. So much pain for so little money, but when this is all you have it is a monumental loss ($45,000). I cannot get a lawyer to fight this because I cannot afford a lawyer. OPPENHEIMER SHAME ON YOU!!

  • ClydeApril 3, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    AS THE CHAMPION FUND STARTED to fall in 2008 I called the Financial Advisor that was assigned to me and asked what was going on and he told me not to worry that the fund was deversifide enough that it was perfectly safe. As i am a retired DEALER I was assigned to usallianz Securites an had never heard of them . I`m 79 years old and lost $150,000.oo

  • RexJanuary 21, 2010 at 12:27 am

    Champion Income was sold as a junk bond fund of which many of the "junk" bonds were simply unrated corporate bonds. As a high yield fund is should not have been investing in AA and A mortgage-backed securities. Believe it or not mortgage-backed securities were rated higher then what a high yield bond fund should be investing in. That's a different twist to say the least. I'm sorry Deb's 77-yea[Show More]Champion Income was sold as a junk bond fund of which many of the "junk" bonds were simply unrated corporate bonds. As a high yield fund is should not have been investing in AA and A mortgage-backed securities. Believe it or not mortgage-backed securities were rated higher then what a high yield bond fund should be investing in. That's a different twist to say the least. I'm sorry Deb's 77-year-old mom lost so much money but I would argue that Champion Income wasn't a proper investment for her in the first place. Core Bond would have been though and they too invested in mortgage-backed securities! Deb's mom would have still lost doing the proper fund just about half as much. Oppenheimer is going to loose these lawsuits and unless you lost millions you like me are going to be left out in the rain.

  • DebMay 15, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    My mother is a shareholder in the Oppenheimer Champion Income Fund and has been since about 1987. She was counting on this fund as a cushion to her social security earnings along with what she earns in her part time job at the local dry cleaners as a counter person. She will be 77 next month. The value of her account was $46,141.84 on 6-30-08, and $9,122.62 on 3-31-09. She feels robbed. When [Show More]My mother is a shareholder in the Oppenheimer Champion Income Fund and has been since about 1987. She was counting on this fund as a cushion to her social security earnings along with what she earns in her part time job at the local dry cleaners as a counter person. She will be 77 next month. The value of her account was $46,141.84 on 6-30-08, and $9,122.62 on 3-31-09. She feels robbed. When she invested in this fund she felt it was a low risk fund, but that is no longer the case.

  • Oppenheimer Lawsuit Filed by Oregon Over Mutual Fund Losses - AboutLawsuits.comApril 16, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    [...] February 2009, an Oppenheimer class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, which seeks to [...]

  • ShelleyApril 1, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    I thought I was investing in safe bond , and realized I lost half of my investment.

  • Oppenheimer Champion Income Fund Lawsuits : AboutLawsuits.comFebruary 16, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    [...] FUND LAWSUIT STATUS: Lawyers have filed an Oppenheimer Champion Income Fund Class Action lawsuit on behalf of all shareholders between January 26, 2007 and December 9, 2008. In addition, some [...]

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