A former ATB Securities Inc. rep has been banned from the industry and hit with almost $6 million in financial sanctions after a self-regulatory hearing panel found that he misappropriated money from numerous clients.
An Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) hearing panel permanently banned Marc Leon St. Pierre, a former ATB Securities rep based in Red Deer, Alta., fined him $1 million, and ordered him to pay $4.84 million in disgorgement and $100,000 in costs.
The sanctions follow the panel’s finding that St. Pierre misappropriated funds from 16 of his clients’ accounts between 2015 and 2021.
The hearing panel did not publish its reasons for the decision, indicating that they will be issued at a later date.
According to IIROC staff’s allegations in the case, under oath, St. Pierre admitted to embezzling about $4 million from his clients in an interview with IIROC staff in July 2022.
The SRO alleged that, in total, he misappropriated more than $10.4 million from clients over the six-year period using a variety of methods, including falsified documents to carry out unauthorized withdrawals, bank draft deposits and electronic transfers.
The scheme included the use of “fake email addresses, changing account statements to electronic statements only, falsifying account statements, altering account statements, using fake mailing addresses, changing EFT instructions, and diverting tax slips,” IIROC alleged.
Of the money taken, IIROC staff alleged that he took about $4.84 million for personal use and transferred approximately $5.6 million to client accounts to cover his tracks.
“The majority of the clients were over 75 years old, and were vulnerable,” the SRO alleged, adding that the firm reimbursed the harmed clients in full, plus opportunity costs.
After an internal investigation that revealed the misconduct, ATB terminated St. Pierre in 2021.