Today, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Thomas Belesis, owner of independent broker-dealer, John Thomas Financial, and a Houston-based hedge fund manager, with defrauding investors.

The SEC said hedge fund manager George R. Jarkesy Jr., worked closely with Mr. Belesis to launch two hedge funds that raised $30 million from investors, and that as part of the scheme, Mr. Jarkesy led investors to believe that he was solely responsible for investment decisions.

However, Mr. Belesis directed some investments from the hedge funds into a company in which his firm was invested, according to a news release from the SEC. Mr. Belesis “also bullied Jarkesy into showering excessive fees on John Thomas Financial even in instances where the firm had done virtually nothing to earn them,” the SEC said.

“Jarkesy disregarded the basic standards to which all fund managers are held,” said Andrew M. Calamari, director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office, in the news release. “Not only did he falsify valuations and deceive investors about the value of their holdings, but he bent over backwards to enrich Belesis at the funds’ expense. Belesis in turn exploited the supposed independence of the funds to surreptitiously pull the strings on key decisions.”

If you were a client of Thomas “Tommy” Belesis, and/or his firm, John Thomas Financial, you may have a potential claim for recovery. Call Soreide Law Group for a free consultation with an attorney: 888-760-6552.