Settlement reached over handling of N.M. college savings programs

Nick Rees Dec. 15, 2009, 5:15pm


SANTA FE, N.M. (Legal Newsline) - New Mexico's investigation into the management of the state's 529 college savings programs by OppenheimerFunds, Inc., has resulted in a settlement of more than $67 million.

The settlement, announced by New Mexico Attorney General Gary King, allows all of the involved parties to avoid a lengthy and expensive legal proceeding and ends a year-long investigation, King said.

Oppenheimer's $67,310,000 payment will be distributed to participants in the 529 college savings programs who were allegedly affected by the performance of the Oppenheimer Core Bond Fund.

OFI Private Investments, an affiliate of Oppenheimer, will remain the program manger for the state's two 529 college savings programs - the Education Plan and Scholar's Edge.

Before the settlement can become effective, it must first gain final approval from the Education Trust Board. Implementation of the settlement may also be delayed due to lawsuits by private parties against the ETB and Oppenheimer. Those potential delays are a focus of King's office, which is working to reduce or eliminate them.

King, in attaining this settlement for New Mexico, worked with other states, including Illinois, Oregon, Texas, Maine and Nebraska.

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