Ex-Worden Capital Broker William Athas Accused of Excessive Trading That Cost Customers $1.1M

Ex-NY Worden Capital Broker Barred After Allegedly Charging $1.6M in Commissions

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has barred ex-Worden Capital Management and former SW Financial registered representative, William Nicholas Athas. This bar comes in the wake of allegations that he engaged in excessive trading in customer accounts. 

According to the self-regulatory organization’s (SRO’s) complaint, Athas controlled the trading in these accounts, deciding the frequency and volume of trades. He also allegedly made the calls regarding which securities to purchase and sell, as well as the quantity and timing of each transaction. William Athas’ customers usually would go by his recommendations.

FINRA found that Athas was the one who determined how much in commissions to charge, and he purposely incurred high trading costs in customer accounts. This made it highly unlikely that the accounts would be profitable. 

The SRO said that many of these trades were unsuitable for the customers involved. Not only did they pay $1.6M in commissions, $1.5M of which went to Athas and his firm, but also they sustained about $1.1M in losses. 

Even after receiving warnings that he was excessively trading and incurring high costs in clients’ accounts, the ex-Worden Capital broker continued with these same types of activities. 

At Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at investorlawyers.com), our broker misconduct and churning attorneys are looking into claims of significant losses by former customers of William Athas. Allow us to help you determine whether you have grounds for a FINRA arbitration claim to pursue damages.

Unsuitable Trades and Trading Strategies Alleged

In addition to allegedly making excessive and unsuitable trades, Athas is also accused by FINRA of employing unsuitable trading strategies that involved in-and-out trading, short-term trading, or trading on margin. This occurred even when such approaches were not a proper fit for a customer’s investment goals, financial portfolio, or risk tolerance level. The SRO contends that the ex-Worden Capital broker committed due diligence failures.

William Athas’ BrokerCheck record shows 11 disclosures going as far back as 2001. Nine of these are customer disputes. Here are a few of them:   

  • May 2020: This customer is requesting nearly $85K in their churning case
  • January 2017: This churning and unauthorized trading case was settled for $95K.
  • July 2011: This excessive trading claim was concluded with a $10K settlement.
  • July 2009: This churning case involving stock trades was settled for $30K. 
  • December 2005: This unauthorized trading case ended with a $40K settlement.

Athas worked for 22 years in the industry. Other brokerage firms where he used to be a registered representative include KC Ward Financial, Securities America, Dalton Strategic Investment Services, CBG Financial Group, Aegis Capital, Avalon Partners, Liberty Partners Financial Services, JW Cole Financial, JP Turner & Co., Emmet A Larkin Company, and Seaboard Securities.

Here is SSEK Law Firm Senior Partner and excessive trading attorney Kirk Smith discussing churning: 


Skilled Churning and Excessive Trading Lawyers 

If you believe that you are a victim of churning and excessive trading, get in touch with our team of securities lawyers today. To schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with one of our New York churning attorneys, call (716) 261-3529. You can also contact SSEK Law Firm throughout the US at (800) 259-9010 today.

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