John Thomas Financial

Anastasios “Tommy” Belesis, he of John Thomas Financial, of “Give me just 1% of your trust and confidence and I will earn the other 99%“, of not letting junior brokers sit down, of using Rocky to get pumped up for cold calls, of screening Boiler Room at the office, of sending employees who show up to work sporting stubble to the men’s room to shave, of “f–k you, you’re done in this business, you’re done in this business, get the f–k out of here“, and of threatening to run someone over “in the street“, has been barred from the brokerage industry for 1 year, at which time he’ll have to reapply.

Technically, he could tap on the window of various brokerage shops, gesture for someone, anyone to come over, and then threaten to run them over; he could text brokers he used to work with and tell them they’d better look both ways; but he won’t be doing any of these things in an official capacity. In the meantime, he’ll have to keep his game sharp by threatening to gun it over the waiter who moves at a glacial place bringing him his jack and coke, his neighbor who dares to bring up the matter of Belesis’s toy poodle constantly shitting on everyone else’s lawn, and Oliver Stone, whose movies he’ll now have much more time to appear in but who will make the mistake of asking Belesis to pay for his method acting classes out of his own pocket. Read more »

The practice of scurrying from one failing or fraudulent brokerage to another even has a wonderfully evocative name: cockroaching. And the wiliest of the cockroachs, according to the Journal, is Kenneth Dwyer, who’s closed down half of the brokerages he’s worked for but will have to wait awhile to notch his next. Read more »

John Thomas Financial was a boiler room operation that is no longer with us, in part because its founder, Tommy Belesis (pictured at right in a Money Never Sleeps cameo), was accused of fraud (and threatening to hit someone with this car) this past spring. When it was still around, JTF distributed pitchbooks filled with tips for cold calling potential investors and scripts to follow based on certain situations one might find him or herself in over the course of a conversation. Included were such gems as:

* “Give me just 1% of your trust and confidence and I will earn the other 99%.” (A “Power Phrase”)

* “If I am half right, we go out for a steak dinner on you…is that fair enough?” (Another “Power Phrase”)

* “This isn’t something I want you to do; this is something you need to do for yourself.” (Also “Power Phrase”To be deployed in the event someone says they have “three kids in college)

* Let’s face it, if you go home and tell your wife that you want to invest with a broker whom you don’t know very well, chances are you will be hit with a frying pan and spending the night on the couch. However, once she sees my brochure from the firm and a dossier that I send you in the FedEx package with a buy confirmation, what do you think she is going to say? Besides, it is a lot easier to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission, right? (Re: “Let me speak to my wife)

* “The law of averages say that you have to sift through 100 brokers before you find the one that can make you money consistently. Well, I have got to tell you that the search has ended. Start out on 100 shares, and once you realize the value of our research and the level of dedication to our clients, you will never want to open another account again!” (A “Closer”)

Unfortunately, there was no section or pre-written lines in there re: what to say should you find yourself on a call with a securities regulator. Which meant Junmo Hong had to do it live. Read more »

* Launch your scandal-plagued hedge fund where Steve Cohen hath launched his scandal plagued hedge fund!

* Learn to pretend to trade where Shia LaBeouf hath learned to pretend to trade!

* Threaten to run over a broker “in the street” where Tommy Belesis hath threatened to run over a broker “in the street”!

That’s right, decision makers of the household: the 23rd floor of 14 Wall Street, a space with a whole lotta history, could be yours. Read more »

Would it surprise you to know that a boiler room operation that doesn’t let junior employees sit down would instruct its employees to cold call potential investors using lines from a script that include such “power phrases” as “This account will come back to you in spades” and “Give me just 1% of your trust and confidence and I will earn the other 99%”? That a place whose founder thought making cameos in Shia LaBeouf movies was a good idea would tell those same employees to say things like “If I am half right, we go out for a steak dinner on you…is that fair enough?”? That that same founder, who has been charged with fraud, in addition to intimidation and harrassment (because he threatened to run over a broker), would coach his staff to respond to someone saying they need to discuss a possible investment with their wife with the line “Let’s face it, if you go home and tell your wife that you want to invest with a broker whom you don’t know very well, chances are you will be hit with a frying pan and spend the night on the couch”? Probably not! And, yet, it is still an amazing thing to behold. John Thomas Financial’s full pitchbook of proprietary comebacks and “closers” can be found here. Our favorites: Read more »

Remember Tommy Belesis? Founder and CEO of preeminent boiler room John Thomas Financial? Breakout star of Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps? Mentor to Shia Labeouf? Guy who enforces rules at his shop about not letting junior employees sit down, who has cultivated an atmosphere in which senior brokers rub the balls of a bull every morning for good luck and walk around saying things like “motion creates emotion” without any irony, and who generally gives the impression he proudly displays towels in his guest bath that have been hand-stitched with the phrase “Don’t pitch the bitch,” which he make sure to point out during house tours? This may come as a surprise, as it seems so out of character, but he’s been charged with fraud and intimidation that in one instance involved suggesting an employee ought to look both ways before crossing the street. Read more »

Who could have seen this coming, besides everyone? Read more »

Back in February, FINRA informed John Thomas Financial founder Anastasios “Tommy” Belesis, he of rallies for Wall Street and Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps fame, that he “may face disciplinary action on a claim that he artificially inflated the price of a stock,” while the Post reported that the firm was being probed by the FBI and the SEC. According to the firm’s lawyer, Robert Bursky, “There is not a shred of evidence that suggests there is an ongoing inquiry by the FBI,” and if you asked David Pitts, a spokesman for John Thomas, if the brokerage is a boiler room, which Bloomberg did, he’d say it is not (and that, on the contrary, “it helps real companies raise money and provides honest advice to investors”). Regardless of whether or not any of the allegations are true, a few business practices one might want to avoid if questions like “is this place legit” or “is this business entirely modeled after 2000’s Boiler Room” are being raised include: Read more »