The Nova Scotia Securities Commission has fined a former investment dealer more than $1 million for bilking dozens of clients out of their money — the largest fine in its history.

The commission said John Alexander Allen's actions were "calculated, manipulative, dishonest and self-serving," so the steep fine was appropriate.

"The totality of Mr. Allen's conduct, as admitted in the agreed statement of facts, demonstrates a pattern of behaviour towards his clients that was grossly unfair, grossly dishonest," vice-chair Sarah Bradley said, reading from the decision.

Allen was also ordered to cover the costs of the proceedings.

Allen worked for Keybase Financial in Truro for six months in 2007. Clients claimed he forged their signatures and placed their money in high-risk investments without their knowledge, and that ultimately resulted in losses.

The commission said dozens of clients were out $14 million.

Pam Osborne, from Stewiacke, said Allen managed her family's finances until she got a letter from a company he worked with saying he had been fired.

She told CBC News in January that Allen took advantage of their friendship and defrauded them out of their life savings.

Allen, believed to be living in Summerside, P.E.I., did not appear at Wednesday's hearing in Halifax.

The Securities Act does not contain provisions to force investment dealers to repay money obtained illegally from their clients.