A former investment advisor in Ontario has been sentenced to four years in jail, fined and ordered to pay restitution, after being convicted on one count of fraud.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice on Feb. 12 ordered that Roger Schoer spend four years in prison and pay $109,000 in restitution after he was convicted of one count of fraud over $5,000 on Aug. 6, 2015. He was acquitted on two other counts.

The court decision states: “Over a period of approximately eight years, Mr. Schoer lured long-time friends and clients who trusted him into sham schemes, resulting in significant losses for many victims. While some of the transactions were legitimate, the majority of the transactions about which the victims testified, were not.”

In sentencing, Judge C.A. Gilmore largely sided with the defence, which argued that a sentence of four years’ incarceration “is appropriate and meets the principles of sentencing”; whereas the Crown argued that five years is an appropriate sentence. The Crown also sought more than $400,000 in restitution and a fine for the same amount. The defence argued that the fraud totalled approximately $103,000, and the financial sanctions should be closer to that amount.

The court ordered $109,150 in restitution, saying that the case involves “an egregious breach of trust and what appears to be an inability to pay on the part of Mr. Schoer should not be the determining factor with respect to restitution.”

Schoer was also ordered to pay a fine equivalent to the amount of restitution. He has six years to pay the fine, otherwise he faces another possible two year term in prison for failing to pay the fine within the required time. Payments made on the fine will reduce the amount of restitution dollar for dollar, the court decision says. “The fine will be paid in full upon payment of the restitution,” the decision adds.

The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) in 2011 permanently banned Schoer and ordered him to pay a fine of $200,000 and costs of $100,000, after finding that he violated IIROC rules in carrying out a “Ponzi-like” scheme.

See: Toronto broker banned for running “Ponzi-like” scheme

Schoer initially sought to appeal the IIROC ruling to the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), but after several adjournments in that process, the OSC in 2013 denied a further adjournment request from Schoer.