Investors Sue Fortune Financial In Multiple Cases Involving Broker Charged with Felony Fraud
Michael Giokas of Clarence New York a stockbroker employed by Fortune Financial Services Inc. has been identified in a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim which has been resolved for $22,000.00 in damages founded on accusations that (1) a fiduciary duty was breached (2) transactions failed to be adequately supervised by the securities broker dealer (3) the customer’s account had been administered negligently (4) a contract pertaining to the customer’s investments was breached (5) the customer was placed into fraudulent investments and (6) transactions were unsuitable for the customer in view of the customer’s objectives for investing and tolerance for risk when Giokas was employed by Fortune Financial Services. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Arbitration No. 18-03199 (Aug. 7, 2019).
FINRA Public Disclosure indicates that Giokas is the subject of nine more customer initiated investment related disputes pertaining to allegations of his bad business practices during the period in which the stockbroker had been employed by securities broker dealers including Fortune Financial Services and Securities Service Network LLC. Specifically, a customer filed an investment related arbitration claim pertaining to Giokas’ conduct in which the customer requested $332,826.00 in damages supported by allegations that when Giokas had been employed by Fortune Financial Services, the customer’s account had been negligently administered by the stockbroker; fiduciary duties which were owed to the customer had not been complied with; and risks and drawbacks of investment transactions had been concealed from the customer or otherwise misrepresented. FINRA Arbitration No. 17-03081 (Dec. 7, 2017).
In addition, a customer filed an investment related arbitration claim in reference to Giokas’ conduct where the customer sought $233,000.00 in damages based upon accusations that when Giokas was associated with Fortune Financial Services, variable annuity transactions violated securities laws or rules; an investment contract was breached; the customer’s account was administered with poor care; and fiduciary obligations were breached. Giokas is also referenced in a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim in which the customer requested $500,000.00 in damages based upon allegations that an investment related contract was violated by the stockbroker; and fiduciary duties which were owed to the customer had been breached in reference to variable life insurance policies and life insurance policies executed when Giokas was associated with Securities Service Network. FINRA Arbitration No. 19-00139 (Jan. 23, 2019).
An additional customer initiated related arbitration claim concerning Giokas’ activities has been resolved for $100,000.00 in damages founded on accusations that when Giokas was employed by Fortune Financial Services, variable annuities were unsuitable for the customer in view of the customer’s goals with investing or aversion to risk; a contract pertaining to the customer’s investments was breached; the customer’s account had been administered negligently; transactions failed to be adequately supervised by the securities broker dealer; a fiduciary duty was breached; and the customer was defrauded. (FINRA) Arbitration No. 18-03021 (July 9, 2019).
FINRA Public Disclosure reveals that Giokas has been barred from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity based upon findings that the stockbroker neglecting to provide information or documentation while under investigation for engaging in fraudulent activities during the time that he was associated with Fortune Financial Services. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2017056082101 (Mar. 23, 2018).
According to the AWC, Giokas was instructed by FINRA to furnish information and documentation when the regulator received word that the stockbroker was charged with felony fraud. Giokas refused to furnish a complete response to the regulator after multiple requests had been made. FINRA found that Giokas’ conduct was violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210.
Also, Giokas has been sanctioned by FINRA founded on accusations that the stockbroker failed to comply with a customer initiated investment related arbitration award or settlement agreement or otherwise confirm his compliance with FINRA. FINRA Case No. 17-00672 (Sept. 21, 2018).
In addition to this matter, there are approximately nine other actions pending against Fortune Financial Services as the result of the conduct of one of its former registered representatives, Jonathan D. Freeze. Freeze is alleged to have obtained or misappropriated in excess of $1.5 million from Fortune Financial customers in connection with his “Alternative Energy Holdings” related investments and promissory notes.
Prior to his association with Fortune Financial, Freeze had been the subject of ten (10) financial disclosures, relating to his ability to pay creditors, and had been discharged by his prior employer for obtaining customer funds through the issuance of promissory notes.
As of December 31, 2018, Fortune Financial reported to regulators that its total net capital was $649, 689.
Giokas’ registration with Fortune Financial Services has been terminated as of October 12, 2017.