A former Janney Montgomery Scott advisor and broker was arrested Wednesday in Dix Hills, New York, accused of stealing more than $400,000 from his former clients and using the funds to pay his personal debts and expenses, including casino gambling debts and credit card bills, according to Seth D. DuCharme, acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
A criminal complaint was unsealed the same day in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Central Islip, charging Apostolos Pitsironis with defrauding his ex-clients. He was expected to make his initial appearance via videoconference Wednesday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven I. Locke.
Pitsironis was with Janney from 2018-2019, according to his report on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s BrokerCheck website. But he was discharged in June 2019 after an “internal investigation uncovered that the FA transferred funds via unauthorized ACHs from a client’s account to a third party bank account owned and controlled by” Pitsironis, according to a disclosure by Janney on the report.
“Janney is committed to serving our clients with the utmost integrity and trust,” the firm said in a statement provided to ThinkAdvisor. “Upon discovering the improper actions taken by this advisor with one client account, he was promptly terminated and the client was fully reimbursed. Janney has fully cooperated with law enforcement and will continue to do so.”
Without admitting or denying the findings against him, Pitsironis signed a FINRA letter of acceptance, waiver and consent Aug. 28, 2019, in which he agreed to be barred from the industry for converting $411,000 in client funds. FINRA accepted the letter Sept. 9, 2019.
Prior to Janney, Pitsironis worked for Wells Fargo Clearing Services from 2012 to 2018, RBC Capital Markets from 2008 to 2012, Janney from 2001 to 2008 and Morgan Stanley form 1996 to 2001, according to BrokerCheck. There are nine disclosures in all during his 22-year career on his BrokerCheck report, which also shows he is no longer registered as a broker or advisor.
Pitsironis allegedly transferred more than $400,000 from the investment account of a couple who trusted him to manage their portfolio directly into his own bank account, according to the complaint.