A former advisor is now admitting to IIROC that he broke the industry's cardinal rule, not once or twice, but three times.
Jacques Turenne is alleged to have borrowed money on two occasions from a client without the knowledge or consent of the IIROC Dealer Member with whom he was employed at the time of each loan contrary to Rule 29.1.
The first instance occurred in June 2003 when the advisor, then registered with Groupe Option as a financial planner, borrowed $2,000 from a 71-year-old widowed client knowing full well he was forbidden to do so as an investment professional because it was a conflict of interest.
Strike two occurred in March 2009 when Turenne borrowed $11,000 from the same client, this time without the knowledge or consent of Desjardins Securities, where he had moved in early 2004, taking his client’s accounts with him.
Turenne’s third strike came in September 2012 when PEAK Securities dismissed the advisor with cause for borrowing $8,000 from a second, completely different client.
Things got worse for Turenne when he lied not once, but twice to the IIROC investigator looking into his past dealings with clients, finally coming clean in November 2013.
The advisor agreed to a settlement on the PEAK case before a Hearing Panel that included a $10,000 fine, $1,000 in costs, a suspension of one month, that he pass the Conduct and Practices Handbook Course within six months of applying for re-approval and 12 months mandatory supervision.
That was then.
The current Hearing Panel has to do with the previous loans to the widowed client and the subsequent false statements made to IIROC during the PEAK investigation. If found to have contravened any of the IIROC rules, Turenne could face fines of up to $5 million, a permanent ban from IIROC, etc.
The advisor breached the most obvious of conflicts and yet Turenne is still working as a group savings plan representative with Mérici Services Financiers Inc., in Trois-Rivières.
That hardly seems fair.