B.C. man fined, banned from financial markets for failing to ensure investments were 'suitable' for his clients
VANCOUVER -- The B.C. Securities Commission has fined an Armstrong man $150,000 and banned him from working in the investment industry for 15 years.
In a settlement with the commission, Albert Alan Housego admitted to misconduct he engaged in while working for an Ontario company called Crystal Wealth Management System Limited in 2015 and 2016. He managed four investment funds for Crystal Wealth.
Housego was registered with the BCSC as an advising representative from 2014 to 2017, and he managed accounts for at least 487 clients.
In 2016, after a high-risk investment in a gold mining company by one of the funds he managed defaulted, Housego placed at least 260 of his clients in that fund, with investments totalling $985,000.
According to the settlement agreement, Housego admitted that he did this without having "sufficient information about some of these clients to assess whether the investments were suitable for them."
He also admitted that he breached his obligation to ensure that investments were suitable for his clients when he invested 323 of them in a pair of the funds he managed that were invested in "gold subscription agreements." The investment totaled roughly $6.7 million.
Housego "spent one day reading the material" about the gold subscription agreements before investing in them, and "did not perform any other due diligence," according to the settlement.
As a result of the settlement, the BCSC's executive director has ordered Housego to pay $150,000 to the commission. The order also prohibits Housego from the following:
- trading or purchasing any securities except in one account in his own name;
- acting as a registrant or promoter;
- acting in a management or consultative capacity in connection to the securities market; and
- engaging in promotional activities.
The ban will last for 15 years or until the $150,000 fine is paid, whichever is longer.