On October 11, 2017, Michael Giokas, the founder of Giokas Wealth Advisors, was reportedly arrested on fraud charges. Mr. Giokas’ arrest was the result of an investigation by the FBI Buffalo Office concerning allegations that the Williamsville broker misappropriated $200,000 from one of his clients. At Mr. Giokas’ arraignment before Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer, Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul E. Bonanno informed the Judge that the investigation suggests Giokas led his client to believe that the $200,000 would be placed in an investment that would yield 8-9% interest. Instead, according to Attorney Bonanno “… the money was not placed in any investment and was instead spent by the defendant on personal expenses.”
According to publicly-available information as disclosed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), Michael Giokas (CRD# 1398674) has worked in the securities industry for over three decades. Since 1986, he has been affiliated with the following brokerage firms: Cigna Securities, Inc. (CRD# 145) (1986-1987), FSC Securities Corporation (CRD# 7461) (1987-1991), Guardian Investor Services Corporation (CRD# 6635) (1991-1992), Linsco/Private Ledger Corp. (CRD# 6413) (1992-1999), Securities Service Network, Inc. (CRD# 13318) (1999-2001), Comprehensive Asset Management and Servicing, Inc. (CRD# 43814) (2002-2013), and Fortune Financial Services, Inc. (“Fortune Financial”) (CRD# 42150) (2013-2017).
FINRA BrokerCheck indicates that Mr. Giokas is no longer registered as a broker. Further, in May 1991 he was permitted to resign from his employment with FSC Securities following violation of firm policy concerning an insurance related bank account. Mr. Giokas has been the subject of several customer complaints, including two complaints in 2000 and 2001 that were settled.
Brokerage firms like Fortune Financial have a duty to ensure that their registered brokers are adequately supervised. Brokerage firms must also take steps to ensure that their financial advisors follow all applicable securities rules and regulations, in addition to internal policies and procedures. In instances when brokerage firms fail to adequately supervise their registered representatives, they may be liable for losses sustained by investors. Publicly available information as disclosed on FINRA BrokerCheck indicates that, on September 3, 2009, Fortune Financial was sanctioned $125,000 by FINRA and censured in connection with its Acceptance, Waiver & Consent (“AWC”) to a regulatory investigation by FINRA. Specifically, without Fortune Financial admitting or denying any wrongdoing, FINRA determined that the brokerage firm had “… failed to establish, maintain and enforce written supervisory procedures that were reasonably designed to achieve compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations.
The attorneys at Law Office of Christopher J. Gray, P.C. have significant experience representing investors in disputes involving financial fraud, price manipulation, failure to supervise and other misconduct. Investors who wish to discuss a possible claim may contact a securities arbitration attorney via the contact form on this website, by telephone at (866) 966-9598, or by e-mail at email@example.com for a no-cost, confidential consultation.