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State of Maine and Oppenheimer Funds Announce Settlement Regarding Maine College Savings Plan
June 22, 2010
Contact: Judith Shaw, Office of Securities (207) 624-8551
Bill Norbert, FAME, (207) 620-3540
Kate Simmons, Office of the Attorney General, (207) 626-8577
AUGUSTA ? The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) and the Maine Office of Securities announced today that Maine has entered into a settlement with OppenheimerFunds, Inc. on behalf of certain NextGen College Investing Plan? (NextGen) participants. The settlement ends an investigation by the Office of Securities in conjunction with the Office of the Attorney General into the management of certain investments offered by OppenheimerFunds, Inc. within the NextGen College Investing Plan.
All OppenheimerFunds portfolios in NextGen were terminated by FAME in July 2009.
?This settlement, similar to those reached by other states with OppenheimerFunds, resolves the matter and returns money to the accounts of families so they may continue saving for college,? said FAME Chief Executive Officer Beth Bordowitz. ?We will continue to vigilantly monitor all funds offered in the NextGen plan for the benefit of Maine families and other account holders seeking to prepare for future college expenses.?
?I am pleased that the investigation by my Office and the Office of the Attorney General resulted in a settlement favorable to Maine residents,? said Securities Administrator Judith Shaw. ?I commend FAME for its diligence in overseeing funds critical to the continued success of Maine?s youth.?
?My staff and the Office of Securities continue to work together to protect Maine investors,? stated Attorney General Janet T. Mills. ?I appreciate FAME?s assistance throughout the investigation and the leading role that FAME and the Securities Administrator played in reaching this favorable result.?
The settlement will divide $6,030,000 among certain account holders based on their exposure to Oppenheimer Core Bond Fund from January 1, 2008 through March 31, 2009. A relatively small portion of the overall NextGen investments was invested in that Fund.
Affected investors who maintain a NextGen account will have their allocation of the settlement credited directly to their NextGen account. Others will be eligible to receive a check. FAME will be notifying affected account holders about the distribution of the settlement.
More information is available at www.me-edsettlement.com.
NextGen was created by the Maine Legislature in 1999 as a qualified tuition program under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. It is a tax-advantaged investing program of the Finance Authority of Maine designed to help families prepare for higher education expenses. Merrill Lynch is the program manager and underwriter of the plan. Anyone can open an account, regardless of income or residency, and assets can be used at any accredited U.S. post-secondary institution. Matching grants are available to eligible families.
The Maine Office of Securities protects Maine investors by investigating and prosecuting violations of the securities laws; licensing broker-dealers, agents, investment advisers, and investment adviser representatives; and reviewing registration statements and exemption filings for securities issuers that are seeking to sell in Maine. To learn more information about the office, please visit http://www.maine.gov/pfr/securities/index.shtml
FAME is a quasi-independent state agency that provides innovative financial solutions to help Maine citizens pursue businesses and educational opportunities. To learn more about FAME, please visit www.famemaine.com.
NextGen is a Section 529 plan administered by FAME. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, a registered broker-dealer, member SIPC, is the program manager and underwriter. Before investing you should carefully consider the investment objectives, charges, expenses and risks of investing in the NextGen Plan. You should also consider whether your or the designated beneficiary?s home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in such state?s 529 plan. Request a Program Description from your Maine bank or financial advisor, or call FAME at 1-800-228-3734 and read it carefully.