A former mutual fund representative has been fined and permanently banned after admitting to misconduct, including taking loans from several clients.
A hearing panel of the Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization (CIRO) ruled that Brent Michael Polischuk, a former rep with Sun Life Financial Investment Services (Canada) Inc. in Victoria, B.C., is banned from the industry and ordered to pay a fine of $75,000 and costs of $10,000.
According to the panel’s decision, Polischuk admitted he violated the self-regulatory organization’s rules by engaging in personal financial dealings with clients, misleading his firm and failing to cooperate with the SRO’s investigation. The misconduct occurred between 2018 and 2020.
Polischuk admitted to taking loans, totalling $155,000, from several clients.
One of the loans was ultimately repaid, another is in the process of being repaid, and a third resulted in a settlement, on which Polischuk has been making payments, after the client filed a civil claim against him.
After Polischuk admitted to the misconduct, the panel — asked to rule on sanctions only — ordered that the penalties and costs are not payable until May 15, 2025, given that’s when his scheduled repayments to the clients ends.
In its reasons, the panel said it “struggled with settling the amounts and terms for payment of the fines” given that Polischuk is 55 years old and has now been banned from the securities industry.
“The imposition of more substantial fines payable forthwith, could place his clients in danger of not being repaid. We believe their interests must take priority,” it said.
CIRO staff sought $164,000 in penalties (including $64,000 in disgorgement and $100,00 in penalties) and $10,000 in costs.
While the panel imposed lesser sanctions, it said, “Nevertheless, the penalties we have imposed will serve as a notice to other [reps] that borrowing from clients and misleading and failing to cooperate with investigations by [dealers] and the [SRO] will result in substantial fines and permanent prohibitions.”
In its reasons, the panel called the misconduct “serious” and said it was not an isolated incident, as Polischuk borrowed money from several clients. It also noted that Polischuk “admitted the seriousness of his misconduct and has expressed remorse for his actions.”