Broker Alert! FINRA banned alleged Ponzi Scheme Perpetrator Steven Pagartanis

Barred FINRA-registered broker Steve Pagartanis, of Suffolk County, N.Y, is facing charges by the SEC and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office for allegedly running a multi-million-dollar Ponzi Scheme that bilked long-term investors, many of them seniors, for 18 years. In May 2018, the SEC filed a civil complaint against Steven Pagartanis alleging that he solicited and sold securities using falsified statements; defrauding at minimum nine investors out of $8 million. Mr. Pagartanis allegedly told investors that he would invest their funds in a publicly-traded or private land development company. Steven Pagartanis was arrested on July 25, 2018, with charges related to securities fraud as well as mail and wire conspiracies in connection with this alleged Ponzi scheme. Before being barred from acting as a broker by FINRA, Steve Pagartanis (CRD#1958879) was most recently a registered broker with Lombard Securities Incorporated. Our securities fraud attorneys are currently investigating into Steve Pagartanis’s alleged Ponzi Scheme on behalf of investors who lost their irreplaceable life savings.

Victims claimed to have trusted Mr. Pagartanis after having done business with him for years and entrusted hundreds of thousands of dollars, including retirement and elder care earmarked money.  Mr. Pagartanis reportedly claimed that the money would purchase investments in Genesis Land Development. His victims claim that Mr. Pagartanis promised that their investments in the real estate development company would produce 4.5% in guaranteed interest with annual dividends. On the contrary, Mr. Pagartanis allegedly never invested the money and deposited it into his personal bank accounts, as also alleged in the SEC complaint. Now, victims of Mr. Pagartanis’s alleged Ponzi Scheme are left distraught, with no other choice but to hold the appropriate parties responsible – in particularly his brokerage firm Cadaret Grant & Co.

Our investor fraud attorneys see many parallels between Steve Pagartanis’s alleged fraudulent actions and typical Ponzi Scheme activity. A Ponzi Scheme is a kind of investment fraud in which a perpetrator pays “false returns” to existing investors using new deposits. Ponzi Scheme perpetrators will use some of the money to fund their lavish lifestyles. As is often the case in Ponzi Schemes, Steve Pagartanis relied on built up trust gained over the years from his mostly elderly clients. Eventually, Steve Pagartanis allegedly failed to make an expected payment to a client, which most probably unveiled the fraud. Ponzi schemes are almost always finally revealed when the fraudulent perpetrator could no longer make a payment, according to securities fraud attorneys.

Alleged Ponzi Scheme perpetrator Steven Pagartanis worked at 14 different firms within his 28 years of experience in the securities industry, according to his BrokerCheck report. Currently, Mr. Pagartanis has 15 disclosures on his BrokerCheck report, which includes one regulatory event, one civil event, ten customer disputes, two terminations and one judgment/lien. In April 2018, FINRA reportedly banned Mr. Pagartanis from acting as a broker and associating with any member firm. A formerly registered broker’s BrokerCheck will still include employment history, disciplinary actions, criminal convictions, arbitration awards and more from FINRA’s Central Registration Depository. Our securities fraud attorneys encourage investors to always check FINRA’s publicly accessible BrokerCheck before conducting business with a broker.

Within the last 18 years, Mr. Pagartanis was previously a registered broker with Park Avenue Securities LLC (05/99-10/02); Yankee Financial Group, LLC (12/02-09/03); Cadaret, Grant & Co., Inc. (08/03-12/05, 01/06-09/11, 09/12-03/2017); Invest Financial Corporation (12/2005-02/2006); Woodbury Financial Services, Inc (08/11-09/12) and Lombard Securities Incorporated (09/17-03/18). Notably, FINRA expelled his previous employer Yankee Financial Group, Inc on August 4, 2006. Our securities fraud attorneys cannot understand how Cadaret Grant & Co managed to have Mr. Pagartanis as a registered representative for 12 years spread out between three different hiring periods without his alleged Ponzi Scheme raising a red flag.

Brokerage firms that employed Steve Pagartanis as a registered representative at the time of his alleged activity could be held liable for losses.  According to FINRA rule 3110, broker firms have supervisory obligations to monitor and stop fraud perpetrated by their registered representatives. Investors who have lost money as clients of Steve Pagartanis while at Cadaret, Grant & Co, or any of his other registered brokerage firm should contact us for help. Malecki Law attorneys have years of experience helping victims of Ponzi Schemes recover their losses. Our highly rated securities lawyers offer a free consultation to speak with Ponzi scheme victims about recovering their losses.