Hedge fund investments sold without employer consent; MFDA issues $2.5M in fines

TORONTO – The body that regulates Canada’s mutual fund dealers has issued a $2-million fine against Ellen Grace Batac and lesser penalties to several other people who sold investments in a hedge fund without their employers’ consent or knowledge.

The Mutual Fund Dealers Association said the fine against Batac — which was higher than the $700,000 originally sought against her — was appropriate because she was the guiding force in the sales and for slowing the MFDA’s investigation into the activity.

In addition to the fine, the MFDA ordered Batac to pay $10,000 in costs and permanently barred her from conducting securities-related business while associated with a member mutual fund dealer.

The other four people sanctioned by the association were formerly employed by WFG Securities or WH Stuart or both as mutual fund salespersons during the relevant period, from at least September 2005 to about October 2008.

The lightest fine among the accomplices was $5,000 plus $5,000 in costs and a seven-year ban from conducting securities related business, ordered against Hazel Gaminde, who the MFDA panel said was the only respondent to co-operate immediately and fully with its investigation.

The other respondents and respective sanctions were:

— Lilibeth Ocamo ($250,000 fine, $10,000 costs, permanent ban).

— Dandy Macareag ($150,000 fine, $10,000 costs, seven-year ban starting June 2013).

— Cesar Martin ($150,000 fine, $10,000 costs, seven-year ban starting June 2013).