Regulator sanctions five financial advisors

The disciplinary committee of the Chambre de la sécurité financière has had a busy month, sanctioning at least four members in the past month.

The CSF is a unique body in Canada. It maintains and oversees the discipline, training, and ethics of 32,000 professionals practicing in group savings plan brokerage, financial planning, insurance of persons, group insurance of persons, and scholarship plan brokerage. In all Canadian provinces except Quebec, mutual fund dealers and representatives are subject solely to securities regulatory organizations like the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada.

Sylvain Letang, a financial security advisor from the Gatineau region, was immediately but provisionally stricken off the roll after he allegedly placed himself in a conflict of interest by borrowing $92,3000 from clients. It is alleged that he also misappropriated $5,000 from a client.

Mutual fund representative Marie-Michelle Fortier was permanently stricken off the roll after she plead guilty to cheque kiting, a fraudulent scheme in which cheques are issued against funds that a financial institution has credited into an account for deposited but uncleared cheques. The ruse was discovered by her former employer Mouvement Desjardins where she worked from 1987 until her dismissal in 2015. She bilked nearly $46,000. “The fact that she used the monies to spoil her children does not lessen the severity of the misconduct,” said dryly the disciplinary committee.

Another mutual fund representative sanctioned by the CSF’s disciplinary committee was more fortunate. Ghislain Durand was struck off the roll for five years after he plead guilty to writing overdraft cheques for more than $3,500. Durand, a longstanding employee of the National Bank where he was a director and branch manager, was in financial straits and used the monies to pay for bills. He reimbursed nearly half the amount.

Financial security advisor and mutual fund representative Kouacou Marc Ettie too was stricken off for five years. He plead guilty to two counts of misconduct: he borrowed a thousand dollars from a client who lent him her credit card, and he misappropriated $3,000 using the credit card a client entrusted to him.

Daniel Charlebois, a financial advisor working in Saint-Jean-sur-le-Richelieu, got into trouble after he plead guilty to three counts of misconduct. He failed to inform a client in a “comprehensive, accurate and objective” way the nature and pros and cons of a universal life insurance policy he recommended. He took out a $3 million life insurance policy for a client, something that did not meet his client’s needs, personal and financial situation or investment goals. Charlebois also plead guilty for making false or misleading misrepresentations. He was stricken off the roll for three months.

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