A hearing panel of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) has disciplined a former rep at Desjardins Securities Inc. in Montreal for systematically opening new accounts at the request of a third party, without having met the clients, and then failing to advise the clients of suspicious activity in the accounts.

The panel held a disciplinary hearing for André Bergeron on March 26 and 27, April 16, 17 and 29, and May 2, 5 and 9, 2008, in Montreal.

The Investment Dealer’s Association formally initiated the investigation into Bergeron’s conduct on Oct. 13, 2005. The contraventions occurred while he was a registered representative at a Montreal branch of Desjardins Securities Inc.

The hearing panel found Bergeron guilty on two counts:

> between November 2001 and May 2002, while employed as a rep at Desjardins Securities, he systematically opening 47 new delivery-against-payment accounts with Desjardins Securities for accounts held with B2B Trust, at the request of a third party, without having met or spoken with each of the clients; and

> he failed to advise the clients of suspicious activity surrounding private placements in their accounts.

The panel found Bergeron not guilty on two related counts.

The panel published its decision and reasons on July 30.

In a separate decision on dated October 3, the panel imposed a $50,000 fine on Bergeron, and ordered him to pay a minimum sum of $12,500 per year for all of the monetary penalties. It also ordered him to pay $25,000 in costs.

As well, the panel suspended approval of Bergeron as an authorized representative for a period of 12 months, and ordered that he successful completion of the Conduct and Practices Handbook examination, before reapplying for approval as an authorized rep.

Should he be granted such approval, Bergeron must be under close supervision for a period of three years following his re-approval.

Bergeron is no longer approved as a registered representative with any IIROC-regulated firm.

The decision and reasons of the Hearing Panel may be viewed at www.iiroc.ca.