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Berkshire to face hearing in Thow disaster


Andrew A. Duffy

Friday, October 5, 2007

On the eve of the B.C. Securities Commission’s ruling on disgraced investment adviser Ian Thow, the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada announced yesterday it will hold a hearing involving the company Thow used to work for.

The association has issued a notice of hearing for a proposed settlement agreement between association staff and Berkshire, involving matters for which Berkshire may be disciplined by the council.

The release says the proposed agreement concerns allegations Berkshire failed to conduct a reasonable supervisory investigation of Thow’s activities, or to take supervisory and disciplinary measures as warranted by the results of its investigation.

The hearing is set for Oct. 22 in Vancouver at the Wosk Centre for Dialogue.

The B.C. Securities Commission’s disciplinary panel is expected to release its ruling on Thow on Tuesday after deliberating over evidence since July 6.

The commission’s counsel is seeking the maximum penalty for Thow — a $250,000 fine, the maximum allowed in 2005 when the investigation started, and a lifetime ban from selling securities in B.C.

Thow, a senior vice-president with Berkshire, is alleged to have taken his clients’money and used it to fuel a lavish lifestyle.

He left the country in the summer of 2005 and set up home in Seattle after filing for bankruptcy. He left behind clients and creditors who claimed he owed them in excess of $32 million.

aduffy@tc.canwest.com

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Ian Thow takes flight