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NPB Financial Group, LLC Broker, Cynthia Cowden, Barred By FINRA For Allegedly Recommending Unsuitable High Risk Investments to Senior Customers

Cynthia Cowden (CRD # 2054676) was last registered at NPB Financial Group, LLC, in Lake Isabella, CA. Cynthia Cowden was in the securities industry from 1990 to 2020. Cynthia Cowden’s employment history includes Tricor Financial Group, LLC, Next Financial Group, Inc., and Advantage Capital Corporation.

According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), on October 21, 2020, Cynthia Cowden was barred by FINRA for allegedly recommending unsuitable Non-Traded Real Estate Investment Trusts to elderly clients. According to the FINRA sanction:

“Without admitting or denying the findings, Cowden consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that she recommended unsuitable high risk, speculative investments to three senior customers, including a married couple and one other investor. The findings stated that the first customers’ investment objective included a stable, balanced portfolio, as well as income and liquidity, because they were relying on the investment to supplement their income. Cowden recommended purchases for the couple, totaling $231,200 of an illiquid, high risk, non-traded REIT. The investments were not suitable given the couple’s investment objective, circumstances, and financial needs. The investment’s illiquidity and high risk level also far exceeded the couple’s moderate risk tolerance. The third customer’s investment objective included slow growth and a reasonable rate of return, and liquidity. Cowden recommended that the customer purchase $250,000 of a speculative, high risk, illiquid, closed-ended mutual fund. The investment was not suitable given the customer’s investment objective, circumstances, and financial needs. In addition, the $250,000 investment comprised an unsuitable concentration of over 50% of the customer’s net worth. The investment’s illiquidity and high risk level also far exceeded the customer’s low to moderate risk tolerance. The findings also stated that Cowden provided false testimony to FINRA regarding the customers’ assets and income. Specifically, Cowden falsely testified that the three customers’ assets and income were far in excess of the actual amounts.”

For a copy of the FINRA sanction, click here

In addition to the above, Cynthia Cowden has been the subject of three (3) customer complaint disclosure alleging the same or similar sales practice misconduct. The complaints alleged the following:

• January 2020—”Client alleges negligence, suitability, negligent misrepresentation and omission; intentional misrepresentation and omission; fraud; violation of California securities laws. Control person liability; breach of fiduciary duty; failure to supervise; unsuitability; over concentration, breach of FINRA rules; breach of contract; loss of investment opportunity; and financial elder abuse.” The matter settled for $57,000.

• May 2012—”MISREPRESENTATION, RECOMMENDATION OF UNSUITABLE INVESTMENT, BREACH OF CONTRACT.” The matter settled for $163,500.

• September 2006—“SERVED PAPERS 9/21/2006, 7 DEFENDANTS NAMED. DECLATORY RELIEF RE-TITLE. CONVERSION, NEGLIGENCE, 5 BREACHES OF FIDUCIARY DUTY, FINANCIAL ELDER ABUSE, TORTIOUS INTERFERENCE WITH RIGHT TO INHERIT, FRAUD AND DECIPT.” The matter settled for $80,000.

For a copy of Cynthia Cowden’s CRD, click here

Elder financial abuse is a growing trend in the financial serviced industry due to the aging baby boomer population. It is estimated that by 2030, baby boomers will control nearly $26 trillion in assets, which inherently creates opportunity for misconduct. The federal government and states have enacted enhanced legislation to address this issue but there is still a lot of work to be done.
Financial advisors have a legal and regulatory obligation to recommend only suitable investments that are appropriate for their clients’ needs and objectives. Their employing brokerage firm has a legal and regulatory obligation to supervise the Financial Advisors’ sales practices and dealings with clients. To the extent any of these duties are breached, the customer may be entitled to a recovery of his or her investment losses.

The Wolper Law Firm represents investors nationwide in securities litigation and arbitration on a contingency fee basis. Matt Wolper, the Managing Principal of the Wolper Law Firm, is a trial lawyer who has handled hundreds of securities cases during his career involving a wide range of products, strategies and securities. Prior to representing investors, he was a partner with a national law firm, where he represented some of the largest banks and brokerage firms in the world in securities matters. We can be reached at 800.931.8452 or by email at mwolper@wolperlawfirm.com.

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