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John Thomas Financial lives on - on Twitter

Expelled from the industry last October, the troubled broker-dealer tweets every day

May 30, 2014 @ 12:26 pm

By Mason Braswell

John Thomas Financial, broker-dealers, Finra, fraud
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The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. expelled John Thomas Financial on Halloween last year, but the ghost of the broker-dealer lives on — at least on Twitter.

The defunct firm, which Finra accused of fraud last year, operates under the handle @JohnThomasBD, tweeting once a day, to about 150 followers. The tweets tag financial media outlets and advertise a daily newsletter that the firm puts out with fresh content from around the web.

On Thursday, the newsletter featured stories from other news outlets on Maya Angelou, Edward Snowden and Apple Inc.'s purchase of Beats Electronics. The heading still maintains the firm is a full-service broker-dealer member of Finra, the Securities Investor Protection Corp. and Nasdaq.

“John Thomas Financial is a full-service brokerage company started with the aim of assisting investors encounter the increasingly difficult choices,” the newsletter's heading reads.

The firm's LinkedIn page also remains unchanged since the expulsion.

“Exceeding client expectations for quality, service and respect, John Thomas Financial associates are available to assist clients before the markets open and after the markets close,” the LinkedIn profile states.

The Wall Street firm was expelled from the securities industry for failure to pay fines after the firm racked up multiple customer claims and investigations of fraud. The firm had been accused of misconduct and unsuitable sales practices related to penny stocks.

The Securities and Exchange Commission barred the firm's former chief executive, Anastasios “Tommy” Belesis from the industry in December for negligence.

It was unclear who is curating the content or posting the tweets, or whether they were automated.

The rest of the firm's online presence has been shut down. Links to a Facebook page, blog and the John Thomas website no longer work. A phone number listed on the firm's Twitter profile and newsletter led to a deactivated line.

A Finra spokeswoman, Nancy Condon, did not respond to requests for comment about John Thomas Financial's claims on social media.

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