The Florida Office of Financial Regulation announced on January 14, 2015 that they had arrested Gus Papathanasopoulos, owner of Neofat Industries, Inc., a/k/a Microlipid Technologies. Mr. Papathanasopoulos was arrested on one count of securities fraud, 18 counts of selling unregistered securities and 18 counts of selling securities as an unregistered agent.
Mr. Papathanasopoulos solicited more than 100 investors located throughout the United States and Europe. In return for their investments, individuals were told they would receive stock in his Orlando based company, Neofat Industries, Inc. According to the Office of Financial Regulation (OFR), the company is alleged to be an empty shell with no legitimate business activity. It was suggested by the OFR that all of the money raised by Mr. Papathanasopoulos was used for his personal benefit.
Mr. Papathanasopoulos was being held in the Orange County Jail, but it is not known if he is still there at this time.
This is just another example of why we here at the Coleman Law Firm recommend that you check out who you are really doing business with BEFORE you make that investment. It is so important to check with www.finra.org to ensure that your broker is duly registered with a broker dealer, and that you also check out the broker dealer where your broker is employed. You want to go to the BROKER CHECK box on the main page of the FINRA website. You can see how long your broker has been in the business, if he has had any regulatory issues in the past or is currently involved in one, and if he has had other customer complaints. You don’t want to hand over your life savings to someone that was selling used cars just a month before you became his client unless you find he is under the careful eye of an experienced manager.
If you have any additional questions on how to check out your broker, please do not hesitate to give us a call or drop us an email. Our phone number is (727) 461-7474 or email us at [email protected] law.com. We would much rather be assisting you with your estate planning asset management than trying to recover lost assets.