Ex-investment dealer accused of $1.5M fraud

A former investment dealer working for Scotia Capital in Moncton is facing a disciplinary hearing for alleged manipulative, fraudulent and deceptive conduct.

Darlene Catherine Ryan is accused of forging her clients signatures 31 times

A former investment dealer working for Scotia Capital in Moncton is facing a disciplinary hearing for alleged manipulative, fraudulent and deceptive conduct.

The Investment Regulatory Organization of Canada, which regulates investment dealers in Canada, says Darlene Catherine Ryan misappropriated roughly $1.5 million from five of her clients. Two of the victims were from Moncton, one was from Shediac and two others were from Prince Edward Island.

Ryan is alleged to have forged her clients' signatures 31 times, allowing her to transfer money out of her clients accounts, according to documents provided by the regulator.

The total amount of money transferred is said to be up to $1.5 million. It is alleged that some of that money went to friends, a former co-worker and a cousin.

For instance, $176,000 is described as being used for payments on a CIBC Visa Gold card.

One of her clients is said to be an elderly widow who was unable to participate in the investigation.

Whereabouts unknown

The regulator says Ryan’s "whereabouts are currently unknown."

"As a result Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada has been unable to obtain any information or documents from the respondent in relation to this matter," the regulator said.

The regulatory body held a hearing into charges in Moncton on March 30. No decision has yet been made.

Ryan worked for Scotia Capital in Moncton from 1999 until August of 2010 when she was fired.

She was also registered in Prince Edward Island, Ontario and Alberta.

"An internal investigation revealed that a very small number of accounts were accessed without customer authorization by an employee, who is no longer employed by ScotiaMcLeod," company spokesman Andrew Chornenky stated in an email.

It was an isolated incident, he said.

"ScotiaMcLeod has extensive safeguards and security measures, and its employees are held to high standards of ethics and confidentiality. We can’t emphasize strongly enough how seriously we take this situation."

ScotiaMcLeod is co-operating with the authorities investigating the matter and has reimbursed the clients who were affected, Chornenky said.

The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada says it's waiting for the regulatory body's ruling on Ryan's case before commenting.

There's also no word on whether the file has also been referred to the police.