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MFDA Notice of Hearing

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HomeCompleted Hearings201831 - Ghassan Alathamna › NOH201831

201831

IN THE MATTER OF A DISCIPLINARY HEARING PURSUANT TO SECTIONS 20 AND 24 OF BY-LAW NO. 1 OF THE MUTUAL FUND DEALERS ASSOCIATION OF CANADA

Ghassan Alathamna

NOTICE OF HEARING

NOTICE is hereby given that a first appearance will take place by teleconference before a hearing panel of the Central Regional Council (“Hearing Panel”) of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (“MFDA”) in the hearing room at the MFDA offices, located at 121 King Street West, Suite 1000, Toronto, Ontario on April 26, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. (Eastern), or as soon thereafter as the hearing can be held, concerning a disciplinary proceeding commenced by the MFDA against Ghassan Alathamna (“Respondent”).

DATED: Feb 16, 2018

"Sarah Rickard"

Sarah Rickard

Director of Regional Councils

Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada
121 King St. West, Suite 1000
Toronto, ON M5H 3T9
Telephone: 416-945-5143
Fax: 416-361-9781
E-mail: corporatesecretary@mfda.ca



NOTICE is further given that the MFDA alleges the following violations of the By-laws, Rules or Policies of the MFDA:

Allegation #1: On or about October 3, 2016, the Respondent cut and pasted a client signature from an account form previously signed by the client onto two new account forms, and submitted the account forms for processing, contrary to MFDA Rule 2.1.1.

600790

PARTICULARS

NOTICE is further given that the following is a summary of the facts alleged and intended to be relied upon by the MFDA at the hearing:

Registration History

  1. Between 2002 and 2017, the Respondent was registered in Ontario as a mutual fund salesperson (now known as a Dealing Representative). Between 2015 and June 2017, he was registered in Ontario with Superstar Investment Corp. (“Superstar”), a Member of the MFDA[1].
  1. At all material times, the Respondent conducted business in the London, Ontario area.
  1. On June 30, 2017, the Respondent resigned from Superstar, and is no longer registered in the securities industry in any capacity.

Respondent Cut and Pasted Client Signatures

  1. At all material times, Superstar’s policies and procedures prohibited its Approved Persons, including the Respondent, from falsifying client signatures on documents.
  1. At all material times, client YD was a client of Superstar whose account was serviced by the Respondent.
  1. On or about October 3, 2016, the Respondent received instructions from client YD to redeem monies from two mutual funds held in his account. Client YD signed two redemption forms in order to complete the transactions (the “Original Redemption Forms”).
  1. Prior to submitting the Original Redemption Forms to Superstar for processing, the Respondent became aware that, as a result of the amount of monies client YD sought to redeem, one of the Original Redemption Forms required a notarized client signature.
  1. Rather than have client YD complete a new redemption form and obtain a notarized client signature, the Respondent selected new mutual funds and redemption amounts that did not require client YD to obtain a notarized client signature to complete the transactions.
  1. In order to process the new transactions, the Respondent prepared two new redemption forms (the “New Forms”) with new investment instructions, cut and pasted client YD’s signature from one of the Original Redemption Forms onto the New Forms, and submitted the New Forms for processing.
  1. By virtue of the foregoing, the Respondent failed to observe high standards of ethics and conduct in the transaction of business and engaged in conduct unbecoming an Approved Person, contrary to MFDA Rule 2.1.1.

NOTICE is further given that the Respondent shall be entitled to appear and be heard and be represented by counsel or agent at the hearing and to make submissions, present evidence and call, examine and cross-examine witnesses.

NOTICE is further given that MFDA By-laws provide that if, in the opinion of the Hearing Panel, the Respondent:

  • has failed to carry out any agreement with the MFDA;
  • has failed to comply with or carry out the provisions of any federal or provincial statute relating to the business of the Member or of any regulation or policy made pursuant thereto;
  • has failed to comply with the provisions of any By-law, Rule or Policy of the MFDA;
  • has engaged in any business conduct or practice which such Regional Council in its discretion considers unbecoming or not in the public interest; or
  • is otherwise not qualified whether by integrity, solvency, training or experience,

the Hearing Panel has the power to impose any one or more of the following penalties:

  1. a reprimand;
  2. a fine not exceeding the greater of:
    1. $5,000,000.00 per offence; and
    2. an amount equal to three times the profit obtained or loss avoided by such person as a result of committing the violation;
  3. suspension of the authority of the person to conduct securities related business for such specified period and upon such terms as the Hearing Panel may determine;
  4. revocation of the authority of such person to conduct securities related business;
  5. prohibition of the authority of the person to conduct securities related business in any capacity for any period of time;
  6. such conditions of authority to conduct securities related business as may be considered appropriate by the Hearing Panel;

NOTICE is further given that the Hearing Panel may, in its discretion, require that the Respondent pay the whole or any portion of the costs of the proceedings before the Hearing Panel and any investigation relating thereto.

NOTICE is further given that the Respondent must serve a Reply on Enforcement Counsel and file a Reply with the Office of the Corporate Secretary within twenty (20) days from the date of service of this Notice of Hearing.

A Reply shall be served upon Enforcement Counsel at:

Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada
121 King Street West
Suite 1000
Toronto, ON M5H 3T9
Attention: Sarah Glickman
Fax: (416) 361-9073
Email: sglickman@mfda.ca

A Reply shall be filed by:

  1. providing four (4) copies of the Reply to the Office of the Corporate Secretary by personal delivery, mail or courier to:
    1. The Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada
      121 King Street West
      Suite 1000
      Toronto, ON M5H 3T9
      Attention: Office of the Corporate Secretary; or
  2. transmitting one (1) copy of the Reply to the Office of the Corporate Secretary by fax to fax number 416-361-9781, provided that the Reply does not exceed 16 pages, inclusive of the covering page, unless the Director of Regional Councils permits otherwise; or
  3. transmitting one (1) electronic copy of the Reply to the Office of the Corporate Secretary by e-mail at CorporateSecretary@mfda.ca.

A Reply may either:

  1. specifically deny (with a summary of the facts alleged and intended to be relied upon by the Respondent, and the conclusions drawn by the Respondent based on the alleged facts) any or all of the facts alleged or the conclusions drawn by the MFDA in the Notice of Hearing; or
  2. admit the facts alleged and conclusions drawn by the MFDA in the Notice of Hearing and plead circumstances in mitigation of any penalty to be assessed.

NOTICE is further given that the Hearing Panel may accept as having been proven any facts alleged or conclusions drawn by the MFDA in the Notice of Hearing that are not specifically denied in the Reply.

NOTICE is further given that if the Respondent fails:

  1. to serve and file a Reply; or
  2. attend at the hearing specified in the Notice of Hearing, notwithstanding that a Reply may have been served,

the Hearing Panel may proceed with the hearing of the matter on the date and the time and place set out in the Notice of Hearing (or on any subsequent date, at any time and place), without any further notice to and in the absence of the Respondent, and the Hearing Panel may accept the facts alleged or the conclusions drawn by the MFDA in the Notice of Hearing as having been proven and may impose any of the penalties described in the By-laws.

End.

[1] Superstar resigned its membership from the MFDA, effective November 16, 2017.