Accepting Instructions from Spouses

Re. Bradley Griffith, File No. 201329

The Respondent admitted that he had processed trades based on requests from a spouse without power of attorney rather than the client (the “Client”) and that he failed to report a resulting complaint.

From 2004-2007, the Client held an RSP mutual fund account with monthly payroll contributions. In early 2007,  the monthly payroll contributions stopped and the Respondent was advised by the Client’s husband that the Client could no longer make contributions as she had suffered a major health event and could not work. In February 2007, the Client’s husband telephoned the Respondent and advised that due to the Client’s health, it was necessary to redeem portions of her RSP account to pay for certain renovations in the couple’s home. The husband advised that  he had power of attorney (“POA”) for the Client. The Respondent took his word for it but did not request a copy of   the POA. Over the next two years, the Respondent processed several additional redemptions in the Client’s account, some of which were transferred to a joint account held by the Client and the husband. In April 2010, the Respondent received a telephone call from the Client’s sister requesting information about the Client’s account. The client’s    sister forwarded a POA which stated that POA had been granted to two of the Client’s sisters and advised that the Client and her husband have ongoing martial issues and she was wary of the Client’s husband’s activities in the Client’s account. The Respondent did not report the complaint from the Client’s sister.

The Respondent agreed to pay a $10,000 fine and $5,000 in costs. The settlement agreement can be access here.

Blank/Pre-Signed  Forms

Re Sofela Kehinde Sowunmi, File No. 201328

The MFDA released reasons for decisions in relation to a settlement agreement reached in connection with incomplete and blank pre-signed forms used to process transactions. The MFDA noted that there was no evidence that any of the transactions in the account were unauthorized. The MFDA warned that the fact that the Respondent cited convenience to the client as reason for using the blank and pre-signed forms is not a mitigating factor.

The Respondent agreed to a fine of $2,000 and costs of $1,000. The settlement agreement can be accessed here.


Maureen Doherty


Securities Litigation
Litigation and Arbitration