On December 2, 2019, Marilyn Dianne Stuart (“Dianne Stuart”) pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud over $5,000 contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada in relation to matters that occurred while she was a principal of MFDA Member W.H. Stuart Mutuals Ltd. (“Stuart Mutuals”).
On December 19, 2019, Justice D.S. Rose of the Ontario Court of Justice ordered that Dianne Stuart:
- serve a term of imprisonment of two years less a day, to be served conditionally;
- is subject to a subsequent period of probation of two years;
- make restitution in the amount of $1.1 million to the MFDA Investor Protection Corporation; and
- is prohibited from seeking, obtaining or continuing any employment, or becoming or being a volunteer in any capacity, that involves having authority over the real property, money or valuable security of another person for 20 years.
The events in question were also the subject of an MFDA disciplinary hearing, at which in 2016 the hearing panel found that Dianne Stuart and Stuart Mutuals had:
- solicited and accepted approximately $6 million for investment from more than 180 clients and used the money to their own benefit;
- actively concealed the above conduct from external auditors, the MFDA and other regulators; and
- misappropriated or failed to account for over $800,000 of client investment monies obtained from more than 30 additional clients.
The MFDA ordered that Dianne Stuart pay a fine of $7,000,000 and is permanently prohibited from acting as an Approved Person of any MFDA Member.
The MFDA referred the matter to law enforcement.
On April 12, 2019, members of the Toronto Integrated Market Enforcement Team (IMET) of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) charged Dianne Stuart with fraud over $5,000 contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada. The MFDA assisted the RCMP in the investigation of this matter.