Belesis Settles Hedge Fund Fraud Case

Dec 10 2013 | 12:09pm ET

Noted boiler-room operator Anastasios Belesis has agreed to a one-year ban from the securities industry for allegedly defrauding investors in two hedge funds.

Belesis, known as "Tommy," "exercised undisclosed influence" on right-wing talk-radio host George Jarkesy's two hedge funds, the John Thomas Bridge and Opportunity funds, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Belesis' firm is John Thomas Financial.

According to the SEC, Belesis and Jarkesy misled investors about the funds' independence. Jarkesy allegedly inflated the funds' values to allow Belesis to collect higher fees. Belesis allegedly bullied Jarkesy into ponying up more money, demanding additional fees in a "profane and belligerent manner."

The SEC said that John Thomas Financial did "nearly inconsequential work" for the hedge funds.

Belesis did not admit or deny wrongdoing as part of the deal, which requires him and John Thomas to pay $1 million in fines. Belesis is also barred from working on penny-stock offerings—he still faces allegations of penny-stock fraud filed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Jarkesy was not named in the settlement. In March, he denied any wrongdoing.

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