Business

Mom, son fined $1M for insider trading

A mother and son from Mississauga will have to pay more than $1 million in fines and penalties after they were found guilty of profiting from insider trading on shares in the mother's company.

A mother and son from Mississauga will have to pay more than $1 million in fines and penalties after they were found guilty of profiting from insider trading on shares in the mother's company.

The Ontario Securities Commission settled with Helen and Paul Kuszper of Mississauga, Ont. on Friday. The two are accused of illegally trading in shares of Kingsway Financial Services Inc. in 2008.

The Kuszpers must give back all profits obtained of $321,772, pay an administrative penalty of $701,690 and pay costs of $30,000.

Mrs. Kuszper was a senior accountant in Kingsway’s investment reporting group. In April and May of 2008, she obtained information about the company's finances and tipped the information to her son before it was released to the public.

In one instance, she gave advance warning to her son that the company would report a $34.4-million net loss in the first quarter.

The two avoided major losses as the share price dropped more than $4 once the information became public, to $9.97 from $14.26.

"In this case, a company employee misappropriated confidential, material information and used it for her own gain and that of her son," OSC enforcement director Tom Atkinson said. "Such conduct is abusive of our capital markets and we will take action accordingly."

Internet and trading records indicated that the trading originated from a computer at Helen's business office, while Paul was living in Antigua, the OSC said.

Helen Kuszper is banned for life from trading securities and acting as an officer or director of a public company, while her son faces the same restrictions for at least 15 years.

With files from The Canadian Press

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