Finra arbitrators have awarded two clients of former broker Christopher Thomas Tolmacs $1.2 million in compensatory damages and $300,000 in punitive damages based on "willful wanton misconduct, conversion of funds and securities fraud."
In its award, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said that Mr. Tolmacs, of Portage, Mich., denied the allegations made by former clients Karen and David Gottschall and asserted various defenses.
Mr. Tolmacs was affiliated with Triad Advisors from April 2008 to March 2016 and also operated Harbinger Financial Group and Harbinger Asset Management.
He was barred by Finra in March 2016 after he failed to respond to requests for documents and failed to appear at a hearing looking into whether he entered into prohibited lending arrangements with his clients.
In March 2016, state securities regulators in Michigan revoked his investment adviser and securities registrations and ordered him to pay a $50,000 fine.
According to a report by the Daily Reporter in Coldwater, Mich., one former client of the broker said that Mr. Tolmacs simply "pocketed for his own uses" money entrusted to him for investing.