IIROC handed out a six-month suspension and a $40,000 penalty to a Vancouver-based investment advisor for violating rules around outside business activities.
Following a penalty hearing held on Sept. 27, 2017, an IIROC hearing panel imposed a six-month suspension, followed by six months of close supervision, on Alberto Tassone. The regulator also imposed an administrative penalty of $40,000 and a reimbursement of $40,000 for IIROC’s costs, according to the decision released Jan. 30.
Tassone was involved in outside business activities without his firm’s knowledge, the decision said: he participated in and managed an investment in oil and gas wells in the U.S.
In an earlier decision dated Feb. 23, 2017, the hearing panel found that Tassone provided misleading information about the extent of his personal financial interest in the investment and his status as an officer and director with one of the corporate entities. The latter violated Dealer Member Rules 19.6 and 29.1 (IDA bylaw 29.1 prior to June 1, 2008), the decision said.
Violations from both hearings have in common “Tassone’s failure to tell the truth,” said the more recent penalty decision. Further, he compounded the violations “by offering an explanation for his lies that was itself untrue.” That explanation was a faulty memory.
Though not relevant in the decision, the panel noted that Tassone has a disciplinary history, and in one of his previous two cases was ordered to rewrite the Conduct and Practices Handbook Examination.
“One might have expected, therefore, that he would by now have a clear understanding of his obligations and ensure that he performed them meticulously,” the hearing panel said in the decision.