Hearing Panel of the Central Regional Council:
- Paul M. Moore, Chair
- Susan Dicks, Industry Representative
Julie Grajales, Enforcement Counsel for the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada
Jeremy Rebek, Respondent
Ashley Thomassen, Counsel for the Respondent
I. SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
- We accepted the settlement agreement dated November 30, 2021 (“Settlement Agreement”) between the staff of the MFDA (“Staff”) and Jeremy Rebek (“Respondent”) at an electronic settlement hearing held in accordance with MFDA rules for an electronic hearing.
- A copy of the Settlement Agreement is attached to these Reasons as Schedule “1”. The agreed facts are set out in Part III of the Settlement Agreement.
- The Respondent admits that:
- on or about December 19, 2017, the Respondent photocopied signature pages from account forms that had previously been signed by a client and re-used the signature pages to complete 3 additional forms in respect of the client, contrary to MFDA Rule 2.1.1;
- between March 4, 2015 and December 19, 2017, the Respondent altered and used to process transactions 5 account forms in respect of 5 clients by altering information on the account forms without having the clients initial the alterations, contrary to MFDA Rule 2.1.1; and
- between November 27, 2014 and April 23, 2019, the Respondent obtained, possessed, and in some instances used to process transactions, 6 pre-signed account forms in respect of 3 clients, contrary to MFDA Rule 2.1.1
III. PROPOSED SANCTION
- The Settlement Agreement provides that:
- the Respondent shall pay a fine of $15,000;
- the Respondent shall pay costs of $2,500; and
- the payment by the Respondent of the fine and costs shall be made as follows:
- $10,000 upon acceptance of the Settlement Agreement;
- $2,500 on or before the last business day of the first month following the date of the Settlement Agreement;
- $2,500 on or before the last business day of the second month following the date of the Settlement Agreement; and
- $2,500 on or before the last business day of the third month following the date of the Settlement Agreement; and
- the Respondent shall in the future comply with MFDA Rule 2.1.1.
- We determined that we had to be satisfied regarding three considerations before we could accept the Settlement Agreement. First, the agreed penalty had to be within an acceptable range taking into account similar cases. Secondly, the agreed penalty had to be fair and reasonable (i.e. proportional to the seriousness of the contraventions taking into consideration relevant circumstances) and should appear to be so to members of the public and industry. Thirdly, the agreed penalty should serve as a deterrent to the Respondent and to industry. To be satisfied on these three considerations required an understanding of the particular facts of the case, the circumstances of the Respondent, and the impact on the Respondent of the agreed penalty.
- The Respondent’s conduct in photocopying and altering of forms, and his use of pre-signed forms was in violation of the standard of conduct codified by MFDA in Rule 2.1.1. This rule requires that Members and Approved Persons deal fairly, honestly, and in good faith with clients; observe high standards of ethics and conduct in the transaction of business; and refrain from engaging in any business conduct or practice which is unbecoming or detrimental to the public interest.
VI. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
- On October 22, 2019, the Member placed the Respondent on close supervision. The Respondent completed his close supervision on May 6, 2020, and paid the Member $2,400 in close supervision fees.
- There was no evidence that the Respondent received any benefit from the conduct set out above beyond the commissions or fees he would ordinarily be entitled to receive had the transactions been carried out in the proper manner.
- There was no evidence of client complaints, client loss or lack of client authorization.
- The Respondent has not previously been the subject of MFDA disciplinary proceedings.
- By entering into this Settlement Agreement, the Respondent has saved the MFDA the time, resources, and expenses associated with conducting a full hearing on the allegations.
- The agreed penalties are within the recommendations of the MFDA Sanction Guidelines and the reasonable range of appropriateness with regard to MFDA decisions submitted to us by Staff and Respondent’s counsel, made by MFDA Hearing Panels in similar circumstances. They are fair and reasonable and will serve as a specific and general deterrent.
- The costs award is reasonable.
- We concluded that the Settlement Agreement was in the public interest and, consequently, we accepted it.
Paul M. MoorePaul M. MooreChair
Susan DicksSusan DicksIndustry Representative