High angle view of mallet eyeglasses legal book in courtroom

A British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) panel has fined and permanently banned former mutual fund rep Lynne Rae Nickford (aka Lynne Rae Zlotnik) from B.C.’s capital markets for fraud, the BCSC announced Monday.

In August 2017, the panel found that Nickford convinced 13 investors to loan money to or invest in her company Lynne Zlotnik Wealth Management (LZWM) in 2009 and 2010, and told the investors their funds would be used for LZWM’s business operations and growth.

The panel found that Nickford spent over $318,000 of the investors’ money on personal expenses unrelated to her business.

In its decision, the panel states, “Nickford represents a significant risk to investors and to the integrity of our capital markets. Broad permanent market prohibitions against Nickford are necessary and appropriate to protect our capital markets and the investing public.”

For her misconduct, Nickford has been ordered to resign any position she holds as a director or officer of an issuer or registrant. She has also been ordered to pay an administrative penalty of $300,000 and a disgorgement order of $318,141.

The panel also ordered that Nickford be permanently prohibited from trading in or purchasing any securities or exchange contracts, becoming or acting as a director or officer of any issuer or registrant, becoming or acting as a registrant or promoter, acting in a management or consultative capacity in connection with activities in the securities market, and engaging in investor relations activities. The panel also permanently cease traded securities of LZWM.

According to the panel’s decision, Nickford argued she has already been sanctioned by other regulators, lost her business, entered bankruptcy, and was publicly shamed, along with other consequences.

However, “Nickford’s misconduct was particularly egregious. In the guise of supporting investors and providing investor education and empowerment, she preyed on clients of her financial services firm, her friends and members of her religious community, many of them in or nearing retirement,” the panel states.