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Lax & Neville Wins $900,000 FINRA Arbitration, Including Punitive Damages, Against John Thomas Financial, Anastasios Belesis, George Belesis and Joseph Castellano For Churning And Failure To Supervise

On August 5, 2014, Lax & Neville LLP, a leading national securities arbitration law firm, won an approximate $900,000 FINRA Arbitration Award, which includes $300,000 in punitive damages, on behalf of a customer against former broker-dealer John Thomas Financial, its Chief Executive Officer, Anastasios P. Belesis, its President, George Belesis, and its former Compliance Officer, Joseph Castellano, for churning and failure to supervise. The case was tried during seven (7) hearing sessions in New Orleans, Louisiana. In rendering its award, the FINRA Arbitration Panel held that John Thomas Financial, Anastasios P. Belesis and George Belesis were jointly and severally liable for churning and failure to supervise and shall pay Claimant compensatory damages in the amount of $600,000, and that Joseph Castellano was liable for churning and failure to supervise and shall pay Claimant compensatory damages in the amount of $5,000, plus interest accruing at the Louisiana statutory rate from April 1, 2012 until the date of payment of the award. Furthermore, the Arbitration Award held John Thomas Financial, Anastasios P. Belesis and George Belesis jointly and severally liable to pay Claimant $300,000 in punitive damages pursuant to Alabama Code 1975 § 6-11-20. This is significant as punitive damages are rarely awarded. Moreover, John Thomas Financial, Anastasios P. Belesis and George Belesis are liable to pay Claimant $14,732.96 in costs, $375 as reimbursement of the non-refundable portion of the claim filing fee, and are responsible for three-quarters of all hearing session fees. The Arbitration Panel also denied John Thomas Financial, Anastasios P. Belesis, George Belesis and Joseph Castellano's requests for expungement with prejudice.

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