A former fund rep has been fined and permanently banned after a regulatory hearing panel found that she misappropriated money from an elderly client and her employer.
A hearing panel of the new self-regulatory organization ruled that Hope Moira Donna Thomas, a former rep with CIBC Securities Inc. in Vancouver, violated the rules of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA) by processing unauthorized redemptions from a client’s account and misappropriating money from her.
The SRO alleged that Thomas opened a fake bank account in the client’s name, which she used to siphon off $59,000 in unauthorized redemptions from the client’s TFSA, misappropriated another $34,000 from the client’s joint bank account, and applied for a loan and a line of credit from the bank in the client’s name, taking another $59,000 that way.
“[Thomas] subsequently admitted that she took the monies from the client because the client trusted her and was elderly,” the panel noted in its decision, adding that none of the money has been repaid.
The bank paid the victim a total of $93,000 as compensation for the money that was stolen from her, the panel said.
The panel imposed a permanent ban against Thomas, a $300,000 fine, and ordered $10,000 in costs against her.
“We agree with [SRO] staff that the respondent poses a significant risk to other investors. The misconduct in the present case is egregious,” the panel said. “She stole money from an elderly client who trusted her and also defrauded the bank by obtaining a loan in the client’s name and using the proceeds for her personal use. She cannot be trusted with clients’ monies in the future.”
Thomas, who was terminated by the bank in 2019, did not participate in the regulatory proceeding against her.