Founded in 1968, The O.N. Equity Sales Company (“ONESCO”) is a full-service broker-dealer headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. A wholly-owned subsidiary of The Ohio National Life Insurance, ONESCO has $14.1B in assets under management (AUM). ONESCO’s brokers are licensed in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Financial Misconduct at The O.N. Equity Sales Company
ONESCO is licensed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and as such is legally obligated to ensure its brokers are acting lawfully in the interest of their investors. If a client suffers losses as a result of negligent behavior or misconduct from a broker, then the firm may be held legally responsible to repay the damages.
ONESCO and brokers backed by ONESCO have a long history of misconduct. Per FINRA’s BrokerCheck report, the firm has 9 disclosures (7 regulatory events and 2 arbitrations).
In April 2021, FINRA initiated a claim against ONESCO finding that from March 2014 through September 2017, the firm lacked a proper written supervisory system that would reasonably supervise the sale of variable annuities. As a result, ONESCO failed to detect that one of its registered representatives recommended an unsuitable investment strategy that involved the liquidation of retirement funds to purchase variable annuities and then short-term withdrawal of funds from those annuities to purchase whole life insurance policies. This resulted in significant surrender charges, tax penalties, and other charges.
Despite variable annuity issuers contacted the firm and its parent firm on multiple occasions, ONESCO failed to take reasonable action to investigate the red flags, resulting in more customers being harmed. ONESCO was censured and fined $275,000 and ordered to pay $1M+ (including interest) in restitution to its customers.
Prior to that, in April 2019, the Virginia State Corporation Commission initiated a claim against ONESCO alleging that the firm failed to supervise its former registered representative, Joshua Ray Abernathy, who misappropriated finds from at least fourteen investors while employed at the firm. ONESCO failed to adequately monitor Abernathy’s use of his personal email account to communicate with clients and also violated its own policies and procedures by failing to conduct branch office audits on new branches. ONESCO, which had made payments totaling $469,667 prior to the entry of the order, was then ordered to pay $40,000 to harmed investors on a pro rata basis.
Wondering If You Have a Claim? Contact Our Firm Now!
Meyer Wilson reclaimed $350 million for the victims of investment fraud or misconduct. Our attorneys are experienced in going up against the largest investment firms, such as The O.N. Equity Sales Company, and our track record affirms our resources and expertise. Meyer Wilson has represented clients nationwide and internationally, in state and federal courts, and in securities arbitration. As an investor, you have a right to recover investments lost through unethical behavior or decisions made against your interests.