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FINRA Fines Florida Broker $5,000 And Suspends Him For 45 Days For Undisclosed Outside Business Activities

Athanasios Tomaras (CRD#: 2722538) is a securities broker and registered investment adviser. From November of 2012 through July of 2016, Mr. Tomaras was associated with Fulcrum Advisory Services, LLC in Oldsmar, Florida. Currently, he works as a representative of R. F. Lafferty & Co.

Recently, FINRA suspended this broker for 45 days and fined him $5,000 for undisclosed and improper outside business activities. In this blog post, our Miami selling away lawyers discuss the allegations against Florida broker Athanasios Tomaras.

Financial Advisor Sanctions: Athanasios Tomaras of R. F. Lafferty & Co. 

Background & Facts 

The underlying disciplinary action in this case arose from FINRA’s 2020 Cause Exam of R. F. Lafferty & Co. broker Athanasios Tomaras. The regulatory organization launched a more comprehensive inquiry into the professional conduct of Mr. Tomaras from 2017 through 2020. Specifically, FINRA investigators were reviewing allegations that this broker engaged in undisclosed outside business activities in violation of securities industry regulations. 

The Allegations 

In the summer of 2017, R. F. Lafferty & Co. broker Athanasios Tomaras registered TESA LLC with the State of Florida—a commercial and residential landscaping business. According to information filed with Florida regulators, Mr. Tomaras was the sole owner of the limited liability company. From 2017 through 2020, the business had annual revenues of between $260,000 and $450,000.

Notably, on official compliance paperwork from his brokerage firm Mr. Tomaras repeatedly denied engaging in any outside business activities. Only in April of 2020—when the existence of the business was discovered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority—was it disclosed by Mr. Tomaras to his member firm.

Undisclosed business activities may put innocent investors at risk. Otherwise, there could be unknown conflicts of interests. Licensed securities brokers and registered investment advisers (RIAs) have a professional responsibility to disclose all outside business activities to their member firms. Under FINRA Rule 3270, brokers should get approval from their member firm before they start any outside business activity. As Mr. Tomaras failed to do so, he is subject to sanctions. 

Proposed Sanctions 

Based on the findings of its investigation, FINRA has determined that professional sanctions against this broker are appropriate. Without admitting to or denying any of the specific allegations raised against him, Florida financial advisor Athanasios Tomaras of R. F. Lafferty & Co. consented to FINRA’s proposed penalties. Mr. Tomaras will be suspended from associating with any member firm in any professional capacity from October 4th, 2021 through November 17th, 2021. Additionally, he has been issued a $5,000 financial penalty by the agency.

Get Help From a Selling Away Attorney in Miami-Dade County, Florida

At ​Carlson & Associates, P.A., our South Florida investment fraud lawyers are skilled and experienced advocates for investors. If you suffered financial harm due to a financial advisor’s undisclosed outside business activities, we are here to help. Give us a call now for a completely private case evaluation. With a law office in Miami, we represent investors in Florida and beyond.

Resource:

brokercheck.finra.org/individual/summary/2722538

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