A town councillor in Amherst, N.S., has reached a settlement agreement with the Nova Scotia Securities Commission.

Coun. Vince Byrne was registered as a mutual fund salesman from 1992-2013. But after his registration with the commission ended, he managed Scotia iTrade accounts for clients — something the commission said affected numerous trades in equities and mutual funds — without being registered to do so.

Byrne stepped down from some of his municipal duties when the allegation came up in late 2016 that he violated securities laws.

Amherst Mayor David Kogon said in a news release Tuesday that council was aware of the investigation and, as a result, decided not to appoint Byrne to the town's audit committee or the Amherst Board of Police Commissioners. 

"Both of these exclusions remain in place," Kogon said in the release. "Now that the commission's investigation is completed, council will seek legal advice with respect to the most appropriate course of action."

Kogon noted no process exists in Nova Scotia that results in a sitting member of council being removed from their seat by a vote of council.

Settlement details

A Feb. 28 news release from the securities commission — the provincial government agency responsible for regulating trading in securities — stated Byrne admitted to violating security laws and accepted responsibility for his conduct and that he was co-operative with commission staff.

The commission approved the settlement and ordered Byrne to:

  • Comply with Nova Scotia securities laws.
  • Cease trading in securities beneficially owned by anyone other than himself, with the exception of three people, for three years.
  • Be denied use of exemptions contained in Nova Scotia securities law for 10 years.
  • Be prohibited from becoming or acting as a director or officer of any issuer, registrant or investment fund manager for five years.
  • Be subject to terms and conditions of close supervision and that monthly reporting be imposed upon any grant of registration for five years from the date registration is granted.
  • Be reprimanded.
  • Pay an administrative penalty of $7,500.