A former Moncton investment dealer has been fined $1 million after being found guilty of fraud by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada.

Darlene Catherine Ryan, whose whereabouts are unknown, has also been permanently barred as an investment dealer and ordered to pay $7,500 in costs.

Ryan worked with Scotia Capital in Moncton from 1999 until 2010, when she was fired.

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

In March, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) held a disciplinary hearing, looking into accusations that Ryan forged her clients' signatures, allowing her to transfer about $1 million out of the accounts of five clients – two from Moncton, one from Shediac and two others from Prince Edward Island.

The IIROC says some of the misappropriated money went to Ryan's friends, a former co-worker and a cousin.

About $176,000 was used to make payments on a CIBC Visa gold card, the group says.

Whereabouts unknown

Ryan did not appear at the hearing, and IIROC investigators were unable to find her.

She is no longer at her last known address in Riverview, and an investigator testified that she located a Darlene Ford — which is Ryan's maiden name — on Facebook, but the account was deleted as soon as she identified herself as an investigator.

The hearing went ahead without Ryan's participation, and the IIROC panel found she misappropriated funds 31 times between March 2005 and July 2010.

"It is clear that the misappropriation of clients' funds is conduct unbecoming of a registered representative and detrimental to the public interest," the panel stated in its recent written decision.

Scotia Capital has reimbursed the affected clients.

IIROC is the national self-regulatory organization which oversees all investment dealers and trading activity on debt and equity marketplaces in Canada.