Kelowna financial adviser allegedly offered money to client and lied to regulator | infonews
16 October 2022 – 08:46
A Kelowna-based financial adviser is facing allegations he promised to give a client $5,000 after complaining about him and then lying to investigating regulators.
According to an Oct. 11 ruling from the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada, Matthew Ewonus offered to compensate a client $5,000 and then told the client he would receive a specific amount for his investment.
The ruling says Ewonus then made “false or misleading statements” to Mutual Fund Dealers Association investigators.
Ewonus founded Latitude Financial Services and has two decades of experience in the financial industry.
According to the decision, the problem arose at the very beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown.
The ruling says that on March 19, 2020, a client emailed Ewonus and asked her to “withdraw” all of her accounts “immediately” and put the $128,000 into a high-interest savings fund.
However, Ewonus needed up-to-date identity papers to complete the transaction and did not have them.
Because the identity papers were over two years old, the computer system did not allow him to process the transactions his client wanted.
The next day, Ewonus updated the documents but missed the deadline for same-day transactions. He submitted the transaction, but since it was a Friday, it wasn’t processed until after the weekend.
By the time the deal closed four days later, the value of the client’s wallet had decreased by approximately $5,000.
The client emailed Ewonus and filed several complaints about what happened.
The ruling says Ewonus then left the client several voicemails.
“I’ll make sure your wallet balance is at ($)128,” the voicemail said. “I want to make sure you’re not down. The way I do this is going to have to be a little sneaky because there’s a rule that I’m basically going to contradict you. So what I’m going to do , is personally investing money in your portfolio.”
The customer then complained to the regulator.
The ruling says Ewonus repeatedly refused the regulator for offering to compensate its client.
“(Ewonus) made false or misleading statements to staff of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association during investigations into his conduct,” the decision read.
The Mutual Fund Dealers Association says Ewonus’ conduct violated three of the regulator’s regulations and policies.
Ewonus is scheduled for a hearing on December 6. None of the allegations have yet been proven.
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