As we reported earlier, broker Ismail Elmas’ (Elmas) Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck records show that the representative was recently discharged from CUSO Financial Services, LP (CUSO Financial) concerning allegations that the broker “converted client funds for personal use as well as participated in an unauthorized outside business activity involving investments without the firm approval…”
Thereafter, investors have come forward to complain that Elmas allegedly engaged in unauthorized activity and other wrongful acts. Then in late October, Elmas pleaded guilty in federal court in Alexandria, to a count of wire fraud. Elmas admitted that he bilked at least 10 investors out of $1 million to $7 million dollars. According to news sources, Assistant U.S. Attorney Chad Golder said in court that Elmas, whose d/b/a business Apple Financial Services, an affiliate of Apple Federal Credit Union, preyed upon elderly and widowed investors and used a variety of methods to hide stolen funds. One of the more salient aspects of Elmas’ fraud is that unlike many schemers, Elmas was not promising large or sky-high returns or pushing clients into complicated financial products.
Our firm represents investors who are the victims of schemes, like Elmas’, to hold the brokerage firm responsible. The brokerage firms that employ Elmas are responsible for supervising his conduct. Elmas’ scheme presents a classic “selling away” securities violation scenario. In selling away cases, a financial advisor solicits investments in companies, promissory notes, or private placements that were not approved by the broker’s affiliated firm. In order to properly supervise their brokers each firm is required to establish and maintain a system to supervise the activities of each registered representative. When selling away activity occurs, it is often because the supervisory environment is deficient because the brokerage firm either fails to put in place a reasonable supervisory system or fails to actually implement that system and meet supervisory requirements.
Investors who have suffered losses through Elmas’ outside business activities may be able recover their losses through arbitration. The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are experienced in representing investors in cases of selling away, Ponzi schemes, and brokerage firms failure to supervise their representatives. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.