MFDA says advisor took more than a quarter million from widow

By Andrew Rickard | December 21 2016 11:30AM

Photo: Freepik

The Mutual Fund Dealers Association (MFDA) says an advisor repeatedly drove a widowed client to the bank where she withdrew money and gave it to him. Instead of investing the funds, the regulator claims he deposited them into his own account.

The MFDA announced yesterday that it has begun disciplinary proceedings against Alfredo "Alfie" Pino, who used to be an advisor with Investors Group in Ottawa. The regulator alleges Pino misappropriated approximately $276,896.19 from a vulnerable client and has failed to repay or otherwise account for $263,786.37 of it.

Among other things, the notice of hearing alleges that Pino repeatedly drove to the home of a recently-widowed client where he would offer investment advice. He would then drive her to the bank in his own vehicle and instruct her to obtain bank drafts while he waited in the car. The MFDA says he gave the client false explanations about the nature and purpose of the investments he recommended, and in fact deposited the bank drafts into a corporate account that he controlled.

"The Respondent did not provide client BC with any records, receipts or statements documenting the amounts of money that she provided to the Respondent or how the money would be invested," reads the notice. "The Respondent falsely represented to client BC that the money was being invested in annuities that would pay client BC a rate of return of 6.5% per year."

Investors Group terminated Pino's contract in May of 2012 and he has not been registered in the securities industry in any capacity since that time.

None of these allegations have been proven. Pino's first appearance before an MFDA hearing panel is scheduled to take place by teleconference on January 12, 2017.

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