Calgary-based financial advisor charged in multimillion-dollar fraud
Jeffrey Ber accused of conducting trades in clients' accounts without telling them, taking secret commissions
A Calgary-based financial advisor has been charged amid allegations that he carried out a multimillion-dollar fraud and collected secret commissions, RCMP say.
The Alberta RCMP Integrated Market Enforcement Team (IMET) said Monday that Jeffrey Ber, 38, has been charged with:
- Two counts of fraud over $5,000.
- One count of secret commission.
The RCMP investigated after it got a referral from the Alberta Securities Commission.
Investigators allege that Ber conducted trades in his clients' accounts without telling them or having the authority to do so.
RCMP also allege in a news release that he downgraded his clients' accounts without their knowledge or consent, "in some cases selling their blue-chip stocks to purchase a publicly-traded penny stock."
Investigators say a company gave him a secret commission to place its shares in his clients' portfolios.
"The charges laid in this investigation by IMET are an example of the RCMP's commitment to hold accountable those persons who put Albertans' finances at risk," Insp. Charlene O'Neill, the officer in charge of Calgary IMET, said in the news release.
"The lengthy and laborious work by investigators, combined with the assistance of and collaboration with our partners, has successfully brought this matter before the courts."
IMET is a specialized unit under the RCMP federal policing set up to investigate market fraud. On this investigation, it collaborated with the Forensic Accounting Management Group, Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, Public Prosecution Service of Canada and Specialized Prosecutions of the Province of Alberta, as well as the Alberta Securities Commission.
The RCMP said it wasn't identifying the financial institution or stocks affected due to the risks to the market value but did say the $6.7 million in transactions affected would be reversed.
Ber is to appear in provincial court in Calgary on July 19.