The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged a former investment advisor at J.P. Morgan Securities with stealing at least $20 million from customers to fund his own brokerage accounts in a scheme that spanned more than three years.

Michael J. Oppenheim, 48, allegedly used his position as a private client advisor to persuade at least two customers to withdraw over $12 million out of their accounts on the promise that he would use the money to purchase municipal bonds for their accounts. Instead, he bought himself cashier's checks and deposited them into his own or his wife's brokerage account, the SEC charges in a complaint filed Thursday.

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