IN THE MATTER OF Éric Couture - Settlement

MONTRÉAL, Oct. 30 /CNW/ - On October 20, 2009, a Hearing Panel of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada ("IIROC") accepted a Settlement Agreement between IIROC Staff and Éric Couture (the Respondent). Pursuant to the Settlement Agreement, the Respondent has admitted to the following violations:

    
    (a) In November, 2005, while in the employ of former Member firm iForum
        Securities Inc., the Respondent had under his responsibility the
        accounts of approximately 35 clients of B2B Trust, a federally
        chartered trust company, where said clients held promissory notes
        from MRACS Management Ltd. and Real Vest Investments Ltd., namely
        securities other than mutual fund securities, with an approximate
        book value of 1.5 million dollars, without said securities being
        recorded in the books of iForum Securities Inc., thereby engaging in
        business conduct unbecoming and contrary to Association By-law 29.1;

    (b) Between December 2004 and October 2005, while employed with former
        Member firm iForum Securities Inc., the Respondent failed to inform
        his clients of the existence of a conflict of interest between iForum
        Securities Inc. and Mount Real Corporation before they purchased or
        renewed various promissory notes from MRACS Management Ltd. and Real
        Vest Investments Ltd., thereby engaging in business conduct
        unbecoming and contrary to By-law 29.1.

    Pursuant to the Settlement Agreement, the Hearing Panel imposed the
following penalty against the Respondent:

    (a) A fine in the amount of $35,000.00, payable on the effective date of
        the Settlement Agreement;

    (b) The requirement that he repeat and pass the Conduct and Practices
        Handbook Course, administered by the Canadian Securities Institute,
        within six (6) months from the effective date of the Settlement
        Agreement, as a condition for the maintenance of his approval as a
        Registered Representative;

    (c) A period of strict supervision for twelve (12) months and the
        requirement that strict supervision reports be submitted monthly to
        the IIROC Registration Department, as conditions for the maintenance
        of his approval as a Registered Representative.
    

IIROC formally initiated the investigation into the Respondent's conduct on March 17, 2006. The violations occurred when the Respondent was a Registered Representative with the Montréal Branch of iForum Securities Inc. Mr. Couture is currently employed as a Registered Representative at the Laval Branch of Laurentian Bank Securities Inc., an IIROC-regulated firm.

The Hearing Panel issued its Reasons and Decision on October 20, 2009. The Settlement Agreement and the Hearing Panel's Decision and Reasons are available at www.iiroc.ca.

IIROC is the national self-regulatory organization which oversees all investment dealers and trading activity on debt and equity marketplaces in Canada. Created in 2008 through the consolidation of the Investment Dealers Association of Canada and Market Regulation Services Inc., IIROC sets high quality regulatory and investment industry standards, protects investors and strengthens market integrity while maintaining efficient and competitive capital markets. IIROC carries out its regulatory responsibilities through setting and enforcing rules regarding the proficiency, business and financial conduct of dealer firms and their registered employees and through setting and enforcing market integrity rules regarding trading activity on Canadian equity marketplaces.

SOURCE Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) - General News

For further information: For further information: Carmen Crépin, Vice President, Québec, (514) 878-2854, ccrepin@iiroc.ca; Jeff Kehoe, Director, Enforcement, (416) 943-6996, jkehoe@iiroc.ca


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