gavel on a wooden bench

A former fund rep has been fined and permanently banned for misappropriating money from three senior clients and gambling it away, along with other rule violations.

A hearing panel of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA) ordered that Robert Eugene Palumbo, a former rep with IPC Investment Corp. in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., be permanently banned, fined $120,000 and ordered to pay costs of $7,500.

According to the hearing panel’s decision, Palumbo misappropriated almost $200,000 from three elderly, vulnerable clients; engaged in undisclosed personal financial dealings with clients; used pre-signed forms; and failed to cooperate with the self-regulatory organization’s investigation.

The decision indicates that, in an email to a business partner, Palumbo admitted to misappropriating money from clients and losing it gambling.

The panel noted that the harmed clients were repaid by Palumbo’s family, and that he is working to repay them.

“Taking into consideration the seriousness of the misconduct, particularly the misappropriation of funds from vulnerable clients, we find that a permanent prohibition is both necessary and appropriate,” the panel said in its decision.

“While there were some mitigating factors, the respondent’s misconduct was so serious that it is necessary to protect the public from a recurrence by removing [him] from the securities markets,” it concluded.

Palumbo did not participate in the hearing.