Publicly available records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) indicate that broker/advisor, William Nicholas Athas (CRD # 3165470) was recently barred from the securities industry by FINRA’s Department of Enforcement after disciplinary proceedings into excessive trading (churning) and suitability were filed on January 18, 2022.
The Law Office of Kevin J. Deloatch, Esq. is interested in speaking to investors who have complaints regarding Mr. Athas.
Registration Background for William Athas
Mr. Athas first became registered in the securities industry in 1999. He was most recently registered with Melville, NY based SW Financial (CRD # 145012) from August 2020 to December 2021. His prior registrations include Worden Capital Management LLC (CRD # 148366) from July 2016 to August 2020, and K.C. Ward Financial (CRD # 145135) from December 2014 to August 2016.
FINRA’s Allegations Against William Athas
According to the February 7, 2022 Order issued by the Office of Disciplinary Affairs (ODA) in Disciplinary Proceeding No. 2018057883102, Mr. Athas consented to, without either admitting to or denying, the following allegations by FINRA’s Department of Enforcement:
- “From December 2014 through April 2020, Respondent William Nicholas Athas, while associated with K.C. Ward Financial (CRD No. 145135) and Worden Capital Management LLC (CRD No. 148366), churned and excessively traded nine accounts of seven different customers”;
- “During this period, [Mr.] Athas—who exercised de facto control over each of these accounts— continuously executed short-term equities trades in the accounts, holding stocks for an average of approximately 20 days”;
- “When combined with his customary high commissions on each trade— 2% to 3% on both buy and sells—and the use of margin in some accounts, [Mr.] Athas’ trading resulted in cost-to-equity ratios ranging from approximately 56% to 246%, and turnover rates ranging from approximately 17 to 75”;
- “By churning and excessively trading the nine accounts, [Mr.] Athas willfully violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and he also violated FINRA Rules 2111, 2020, and 2010”;
- “[Mr.] Athas also failed to have a reasonable basis to believe that his recommended trading strategy was suitable for at least some customers”; and
- “As a result, [Mr.] Athas also failed to fulfill his reasonable basis suitability obligations, in violation of FINRA Rules 2111 and 2010.”
FINRA Bars William Athas from Securities Industry
As a result of such violations and in addition to the above-described findings and conclusions, the ODA’s February 7, 2022 Order also indicates that Mr. Athas consented to the following sanction(s):
- barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities.
William Athas Has A History of Securities Industry Customer Complaints
In addition to William Athas being barred by FINRA from the securities industry regarding excessive trading (churning) and suitability, FINRA BrokerCheck for Mr. Athas reveals that he has a history of customer complaints and/or customer-initiated arbitrations including but not necessarily limited to the following:
- On February 16, 2017 a customer-initiated arbitration was filed naming Mr. Athas as a respondent regarding alleged actions that occurred while he was associated with K.C. Ward Financial. The customer’s allegations included negligence, misrepresentation and omission, churning, unauthorized trading and suitability. The customer further alleged damages in the amount of $290,000.00. On February 22, 2018, the arbitration was settled in the amount of $95,000.00 with Mr. Athas personally responsible for paying $45,000.00 of the settlement amount.
- On July 15, 2011 a customer-initiated arbitration was filed naming Mr. Athas as a respondent regarding alleged actions that occurred while he was associated with Liberty Partners Financial Services, LLC. The customer’s allegations included churning and excessive trading. The customer further alleged damages in the amount of $100,000.00. On August 2, 2012 the arbitration was settled in the amount of $10,000.00 with Mr. Athas personally responsible for the settlement amount.
- On June 8, 2009 a customer-initiated arbitration was filed naming Mr. Athas as a respondent regarding alleged actions that occurred while he was associated with Liberty Partners Financial Services, LLC. The customer’s allegations included churning, unsuitability, negligence, misrepresentation and omission. The customer further alleged damages in the amount of $84,000.00. On September 28, 2010 the arbitration was settled in the amount of $30,000.00.
If you or someone you know has or had a brokerage account with William Nicholas Athas and have concerns regarding losses in your investments or possible sales practice violations including fraud, you may be entitled to recover lost funds. The Law Office of Kevin J. Deloatch, Esq. has an extensive securities law practice and over 30 years of experience on Wall Street. Call today at (646) 792-2156 for a free consultation. The time to file your claim may be limited so you should call today to avoid delay.