CUSO Financial Services (“CUSO Financial”) (CRD# 42132) has many different complaints filed by FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), state regulatory organizations, and investors such as yourself. At the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, we have investigated CUSO Financial Services, its regulatory and customer complaints, and have also represented investors with claims of fraud, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty against this organization and its financial advisors.
If you believe you have a claim against CUSO Financial Services, you should strongly consider hiring an investment fraud lawyer . You should not wait until it’s too late to file a claim. The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. , offers free consultations. Give us a call at 800-732-2889 . Let’s discuss your case and see what we can do to help you get the compensation you need and deserve.
Can I Sue CUSO Financial Services?
If you’ve lost money caused by CUSO Financial Services and/or its employees’ misconduct then the answer is, YES, you can sue CUSO Financial Services but the odds are you signed away your right to sue in court and agreed to resolve your dispute in a FINRA arbitration proceeding. Attorney Robert Wayne Pearce has over 40 years of personal experience in FINRA arbitration proceedings and knows very well how you can not only sue CUSO Financial Services in FINRA arbitration proceedings, but WIN that arbitration. The easiest way to know if you have a viable case against CUSO Financial Services is to call Attorney Pearce at our office at 800-732-2889 .
What is CUSO Financial Services?
CUSO Financial Services (CRD# 42132) is a registered broker-dealer. It operates as a full-service independent broker-dealer, providing a range of financial products and services to individual investors and financial advisors.
As a registered broker-dealer, CUSO Financial Services is subject to regulations and oversight by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). It is required to comply with industry standards and regulations to ensure the protection of its clients’ interests.
A failure to comply with industry standards by either its brokers or the firm itself can result in disciplinary actions, fines, or other penalties imposed by regulatory authorities.
CUSO Financial Services Has Many Different Regulatory Problems
CUSO Financial Services’ rapid growth has not been without consequences. There have been approximately 3 state and self-regulatory body disclosure events; that is, final and formal proceedings initiated by a regulatory authority (e.g., a state or federal securities agency like the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or self-regulatory body like the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for a violation(s) of investment-related rules or regulations. In addition, there have been hundreds of customer complaints filed against CUSO Financial Services for misconduct by its securities sales and investment advisory representatives that are not reported by the firm on its Central Depository Record.
We have reported and written about these regulatory problems and customer complaints over many years. CUSO Financial Services is a repeat offender: there are over 3 FINRA-reported disciplinary proceedings citing the firm with one form of supervisory lapses or another.
A Brief Overview of Some of the Regulatory Problems CUSO Financial Services Has Faced Over the Years*
CUSO Financial Services has been repeatedly censured, warned, and fined multi-millions of dollars for its own misconduct and failure to supervise its army of financial advisors.* A few of the notable FINRA Sanctions for its Supervisory Failures are below:
CUSO Financial Services Fined $172.5k for Mathew Hartshorn’s Unsuitable UIT Sales
Brief overview: CUSO Financial Services has been fined $172.5k by FINRA for alleged unsuitable unit investment trust (UIT) sales conducted by registered representative Mathew Hartshorn. The fine comes as a result of 76 UIT transactions totaling $4.6 million that were deemed unsuitable for customers with low-risk tolerances. The regulatory authorities also cited CUSO principal Richard Michael Gholson for alleged inadequate supervision of UIT sales at the firm’s Tacoma, Washington branch, where Hartshorn was based.
*Above are only some of the regulatory disciplinary actions filed against CUSO Financial Services by FINRA. NASSA and other state securities regulator investigations and enforcement actions account for another 3 BrokerCheck disclosures.
CUSO Financial Services Customer Complaints
There have been scores of customer complaints filed against CUSO Financial Services stockbrokers and investment advisors over the years. We have launched many investigations of current and former CUSO Financial Services advisors:
- Frank Nickey of CUSO Financial Services L.P.
- William Guthrie of Cuso Financial Services
- Albert Haskins of CUSO Financial Services
- Karen Gonzales Formerly With SWBC Investment Services
- Donna Panton of CUSO Financial Services
- Justin Bailey of Nationwide Investment Services
- Bradley Hill of LPL Financial LLC
- Danny Lopez of J.P. Morgan Securities LLC
- Earl Southerland formerly with CUSO Financial Services, LP
- James Petrizzo of Independent Financial Group, LLC
- Justin Anderson formerly with Cuso Financial Services, L.P.
- Robert Koba, Jr. of Raymond James Financial Services, Inc.
- David Burk of CUSO Financial Services, L.P.
If you have lost money investing with any of these CUSO Financial Services advisors or others within this brokerage firm, it’s important that you reach out to an investment loss attorney quickly because the statutes of limitations can bar your claims. Call us at 800-732-2889.
Why Does CUSO Financial Services Have So Many Regulatory Problems And Customer Complaints?
Independent broker-dealers are notorious for their lax supervisory practices and procedures. The business model of these franchise type operations is to open many offices nationwide for steady growth of fixed monthly revenues without the costs attendant to a full-service branch office with on-site manager, compliance officer and operation personnel. The registered representatives of these independent broker-dealers generally operate as separately incorporated businesses. They are not employees of the broker-dealer and therefore not controlled in the same manner as full-service brokerage firm representatives. The registered representatives control their structure and costs to maximize profits and often leave the protection of investors’ rights and interests as their lowest priority.
The typical supervisory organization of independent broker-dealer operations is to have other independent contractors operate Offices of Supervisory Jurisdiction (OSJs) to monitor the registered representatives from geographically remote offices and then report to the main franchisor’s compliance office at national headquarters. The supervisors at the OSJs are not employees of the franchisor and often run their own brokerage, insurance and other businesses. They are not devoted full-time supervisors of the smaller branch offices. Consequently, OSJ managers cannot and do not supervise the day-to-day operations of the registered representatives of these Independent broker-dealers.
Generally, there is no immediate review of new accounts opened, securities transactions, business records, cash or securities receipts and deliveries, correspondence and business activities unrelated to the securities brokerage operation at these independent brokerage firms. The lax supervision leaves investors who have transferred their accounts to the smaller independent broker-dealer vulnerable to sales of securities that have not been reviewed or authorized by anyone other than the sales representative earning a commission. There may be no one onsite to detect forgeries of clients’ signatures on documents, the placement of inaccurate information about a client’s investment objectives and financial condition to document the suitability of a particular investment recommendation. Oftentimes there is no daily review of sales literature and client correspondence to protect against misrepresentations and misleading statements being made to investors. In fact, it is not unusual for there to be only one compliance audit visit per year at many of these offices.
These Independent brokerage business operations are worrisome to the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), which has documented more instances of sales abuse and consequently investor losses at these firms than the traditional brokerage firms with branch offices with on-site managers and compliance personnel.
Did CUSO Financial Services Advisor Misconduct Cause You Investment Losses?
When financial advisor misconduct has caused you to lose substantial value to your investment accounts, you have the right to seek reimbursement from the responsible parties. CUSO Financial Services is responsible like any employer for its financial advisors acts and omissions. In addition, it has an independent duty to supervise its stockbrokers and investment advisors. These cases can be extremely complex, and so having the support of a reputable attorney who is experienced in recovering investment losses for investors is key to your success. Many customers make the mistake of contacting CUSO Financial Services without representation with an attorney about their complaints and have their complaints denied.
Related Read: Can You Sue Your Brokerage Firm?
Consult With An Attorney Who Recovers Investment Losses Caused By CUSO Financial Services Today!
The investment loss attorneys at The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., have helped countless investors over the last 40 years recover the losses from their investment accounts that were caused by broker negligence or misconduct. The firm has extensive experience with CUSO Financial Services cases, and Attorney Pearce is committed to seeing that those responsible for the losses you have suffered are held fully accountable.
Give us a call at 800-732-2889. Let’s discuss your case and see what we can do to help you get the compensation you need and deserve.