Judge gavel, scales of justice and law books in court

An Ontario court has rejected the appeal of a former financial advisor convicted of fraud, and dramatically increased the fine imposed against him.

The Court of Appeal for Ontario upheld the conviction on a charge of fraud over $5,000 against Roger Schoer. The trial court found that Schoer defrauded several friends and clients of more than $400,000 in “what was essentially a large-scale Ponzi-type scheme.”

Following the conviction, in 2016, the trial court judge sentenced him to four years in custody ordered him to pay $109,150 in restitution to five complainants who specifically sought restitution. The judge ordered Schoer to pay the same amount as a fine in lieu of forfeiture.

Schoer appealed the conviction, arguing that the trial judge made various errors. Both sides appealed the fine.

In its decision, the appeal court rejected Schoer’s bid to overturn his conviction and sided with the Crown on its appeal of the fine, ordering that a fine of more than $400,000 be imposed.

In upholding the conviction, the appeal court stated: “There were no misapprehensions of evidence and, even if there were, they were not material in nature and did not play an essential role in the reasoning process that resulted in convictions.”

As for the fine imposed at trial, the appeal court found that the fine should be $403,750. It imposed an additional restitution order for $17,000 to one victim, who had been overlooked in the original decision.

Schoer, a former rep with Octagon Capital Corp. and Standard Securities Capital Corp. in Toronto, had been fined and permanently banned by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) in 2011.