The sanctions follow the committee’s finding that Mohammad Movassaghi forged client signatures and misled IIROC’s enforcement staff. He was fined $50,000 for each violation, along with a permanent ban and an order to repay costs.
The Committee ordered more severe penalties than those initially sought by counsel for IIROC. He noted that staff at the self-regulatory body had asked for a fine of $30,000 for forgery, $50,000 for misleading the SRO, as well as $40,000 in costs and a permanent ban.
Mohammad Movassaghi did not participate in the disciplinary hearings against him.
According to the committee’s decision, the reason the signatures were falsified, which it inferred from the facts of the case, was that “if the customers were aware of the charges, they might not have transferred their accounts, or all of their assets, to his new company.
In particular, the panel said that due to the falsification of the transfer documents, the clients incurred deferred sales charges on the proprietary funds they held in his old company when their accounts were transferred to the new company. .
The committee found that Mohammad Movassaghi misled IIROC staff by admitting to forging a client’s signature, but denying that there were others, or that there were others customer complaints of alleged tampering.
He noted that he had already been disciplined for forging a client’s signature, and “didn’t want any more cases brought to the attention of IIROC because this would have widened the investigation and led to more serious consequences”.
“The Respondent’s omissions and half-truths during the interviews misled IIROC,” the committee found. The Respondent’s conduct was deliberate, continuous, intended to deceive and deceived IIROC for his personal benefit, at the expense of his clients, the firm, regulators and the public. »
In addition to IIROC proceedings, Mohammad Movassaghi was banned from practicing by FP Canada and ordered to pay $15,000 costs after the organization found he had engaged in forgery.
He was also disciplined by the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA) for falsifying a client’s documents and engaging in discretionary trading on that client’s account. while a Mutual Funds Representative at Investors Group Financial Services Inc. until 2016 when he joined Harbourfront Wealth.
The MFDA Hearing Panel has not yet held a penalty hearing.