UPDATE (June 4, 2018): A new SEC complaint alleges that former broker Steven Pagartanis had promised clients that he would invest $8M of their money into land developments, but never did.
According to the complaint, Pagartanis scammed nine mostly elderly clients by telling them that he would invest their funds into either a publicly traded or privately held land-development company, and he even promised guaranteed fixed interest rates of up to 8% annually.
In reality, Pagartanis preyed on his customers’ trust, and duped them into writing checks payable to his own entity. In the end, the scam failed, as all scams do. As of February, the client’s investment had dissipated from $8M to $8,000. Read more here.
If you have ever invested money with Steven Pagartanis, contact the Sonn Law Group today. We are actively investigating this former broker and are interested in hearing the stories of his clients.
Steven Pagartanis (CRD#: 1958879) is a previously registered investment broker.
Most recently, Mr. Pagartanis was employed at Lombard Securities Incorporated in Setauket, New York (2017-2018).
This broker has also worked for several other investment firms in the same region, including Cadaret, Grant & Co. (2003-2005 and 2006-2011 and 2012-2017), Woodbury Financial Services (2011-2012), Invest Financial Corporation (2005-2006), and Yankee Financial Group (2002-2003).
On April 13th, 2018, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) permanently barred Steven Pagartanis from the securities industry. Full details regarding this action can be found by reviewing the Letters of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (NO. 20180576592-01).
In this article, the experienced investment fraud attorneys at Sonn Law Group highlight the recent allegations of misconduct against former broker Steven Pagartanis. All information included within this comes directly from the aforementioned FINRA documents and from the official BrokerCheck report for Mr. Paragtanis.
Steven Pagartanis: Allegations of Fraud and Misconduct
Failure to Cooperate With a Fraud Investigation
On March 17th, 2018, Steven Pagartanis was terminated by his employer, Lombard Securities. When registered brokerage firms terminate a securities representative, they are required to file ‘Form U5’. This FINRA form requires brokerage firms to disclose their reasoning for terminating the employment relationship with their former representative.
According to the Form U5 filed by Lombard Securities, Mr. Pagartanis was terminated from his position because he refused to cooperate with the firm’s internal investigation into customer allegations that he made material misrepresentations to investors and misappropriated funds.
Upon receiving this form, FINRA launched its own investigation into the conduct of Steven Pagartanis. Under FINRA Rule 8210, registered brokers are required to cooperate with FINRA investigations. Among other things, FINRA Rule 8210 mandates that brokers must provide on-the-record testimony when it is requested by the regulators.
Mr. Pagartanis was scheduled to provide on-the-record testimony on April 10th, 2018. However, his legal representation informed FINRA that Mr. Pagartanis was not going to appear at this hearing nor would he appear at a hearing at any point in the future. This is a very serious violation of industry rules. The sanctions include a permanent bar from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity.
Investor Complaints Against Steven Pagartanis
Beyond his failure to cooperate with a FINRA investigation, there are currently five different investor complaints pending against Mr. Pagartanis. The basic details of those investor complaints are as follows:
- Allegations of unsuitable investments related to REITs: $245,000 in damages requested.
- Four separate allegations that this broker requested customers to make checks payable to an unapproved outside firm: $240,000, 239,700, $185,800, and $75,000 in damages requested.
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At Sonn Law Group, our skilled FINRA arbitration attorneys have been advocating for investors for nearly three decades. If you or a family member lost a considerable amount of money due to broker negligence or broker fraud, we are here to help. Please contact our law firm today for a free, no strings attached initial consultation.
Disclaimer: This article contains opinions and NOT statements of fact in any way whatsoever. The information here is general information that should not be taken as legal advice. NO attorney-client relationship is established between you and our attorneys by reading this article. This article is attorney advertising and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a qualified securities lawyer.