May 10, 2021
On February 17, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released an Order Instituting Administrative Proceedings to bar Steve Pagartanis, a former registered representative from East Setauket, New York, from association with any broker, dealer, investment adviser, or other entity related to the securities industry and bar him from participating in any offering of a penny stock.
Pagartanis was associated with numerous broker-dealers registered with the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) since 1989 and was discharged on allegations of wrongdoing at his last two broker dealers. According to his FINRA BrokerCheck report, Pagartanis was associated with Caradet, Grant & Co. from September 2012 to March 2017 in Setauket, New York where he was discharged after the firm received arbitration that alleged selling away, fraud, and conversion, among other allegations. Pagartanis was most recently associated with Lombard Securities Incorporated, from September 2017 to March 2018 in Setauket, New York, where he was discharged after an internal investigation revealed he failed to respond to customer complaint questions and requests for information.
The SEC charged Pagartanis in May 2018 with defrauding at least nine long-standing retail investors of approximately $8 million by soliciting and selling them securities using false and misleading statements and providing some investors with fictitious account statements. Pagartanis executed this scam from 2013 to at least February 2018 by promising investors that he would make secure investments that would yield monthly return payments. For at least five investors, Pagartanis stated that he had invested their money in Genesis Land Development Co., a Canadian land development and home building company. Instead, Pagartanis deposited investor funds into numerous bank accounts that he controlled and used the funds for personal use and to repay investors in a Ponzi-like manner.
Pagartanis has been barred by both the SEC and FINRA for failing to cooperate with investigations into these allegations, among other things.
On January 9, 2020, Pagartanis pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and he was later sentenced to 170 months in prison, 3 years of supervised release, and ordered to make restitution in the amount of $6,519,594. A recent SEC Administrative Proceeding Order released on February 17, 2021 notes that Pagartanis defrauded at least 17 individuals who collectively invested more than $13 million with him.