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by Mike Caswell
The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada has imposed $120,000 in sanctions and a nine-month suspension on former Wellington West Capital Inc. employee Shirley Locke. The regulator said that she placed seniors and others into overly risky stocks, with Vancouver's International Tower Hill Mines Ltd. prominently among them. Her actions led to $1-million in investor losses, according to IIROC.
The penalties for Ms. Locke are contained in a decision that IIROC released on Thursday, Sept. 17. Citing her "blatant disregard" for her clients, the regulator ordered her to pay a $90,000 fine, plus $30,000 in costs. She may not work in a registered capacity for nine months and, upon returning to the industry, will have to spend six months under close supervision.
The penalties are a loss for Ms. Locke, who had argued for lesser sanctions, saying that she had no prior regulatory history during her 40 years in the industry. The IIROC proceeding (along with the resulting publicity) was a significant deterrent on its own, she contended. She also provided letters of support from clients and others in the industry, and had a representative of her present employer, Aligned Capital Partners Inc., testify that many of her clients were loyal and "describe her as a nice person."
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