The New York broker has been charged with numerous violations, including misappropriation
Though he’s currently not registered with a firm, Demitrios Hallas may never be allowed to work as a broker again. According to the SEC, from March 2014 to May 2016, Hallas violated a variety of anti-fraud provisions by recommending unsuitable investments, not performing his due diligence on these products, and misappropriating thousands of dollars.
The SEC complaint alleges that Hallas bought and sold daily leveraged Exchange-Traded Funds and Notes for several customers, even though they weren’t suitable investments. In addition, Hallas did not fully understand how these products worked or the risks involved. While accumulating $128,000 in fees and commissions for himself and his firm, his customers lost around $150,000 in total.
Perhaps most serious of all the charges against Hallas is the alleged misappropriation of over $170,000 from one of his clients. The SEC says that instead of investing the money he was given, Hallas deposited the funds into his own accounts. He then used it for his personal expenses, including credit card bills, student loan payments, and his rent.
Most recently Hallas worked for PHX Financial, Inc. in NYC, but he has also been a member of these firms:
- First Union Securities, Inc. – St. Louis, MO
- HSBC Brokerage (USA) Inc. – NYC
- McDonald Investments Inc. – Cleveland, OH
- Chase Investment Services Corp. – Chicago, IL
- Sorrento Pacific Financial, LLC – Pine Plains, NY
- Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. – Mamaroneck, NY
- Chase Investment Services Corp. – Tarrytown, NY
- PNC Investments – NYC
- Chase Investment Services Corp. – NYC
- Aegis Capital Corp. – NYC
- Santander Securities LLC – NYC
- Forefront Capital Markets LLC – NYC
Aside from the SEC investigation, Hallas could also be facing discipline from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). In June of last year, the agency received a complaint alleging that Hallas recommended an unsuitable transaction involving a variable annuity. FINRA is also looking into other possible sales practice violations.
This wasn’t the first time that Hallas showed up on FINRA’s radar. In April of 2016, after asking Hallas for information and not hearing from him, he received a two-month suspension. In May of 2014, Hallas also received a suspension from FINRA – along with a fine – again for making unsuitable recommendations.
More information about Hallas can be found in FINRA’s BrokerCheck report.
Were you given unsuitable investment advice that resulted in losses? You may be able to recover some of that money through FINRA arbitration. For a free consultation, call the Silver Law Group at 800-975-4345 or get in touch through our online contact form. We work on contingency, so there is no fee unless you recover funds.