B.C. broker siphoned off $2 million to fund Okanagan estate, regulator says

Jeffrey Rutledge is scheduled to appear before a regulatory panel on May 26.

A Vancouver stockbroker allegedly embezzled more than $2 million from client accounts to build a home in Naramata, regulators say.

Jeffrey Rutledge made unauthorized wire transfers of approximately $1.79 million and US$255,600 from client investment accounts, according to a notice of hearing from the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada securities (IIROC), the country’s self-regulatory organization for licensed investment dealers.

Between August 2016 and October 2018, Rutledge allegedly “embezzled” $1.8 million from a Nanoose Bay couple and U.S. funds from a company called SB Inc., contrary to IIROC rules, the report says. notice.

Rutledge began working in the securities industry in March 1981. He began working in Vancouver at PI Financial Corp. in August 2012.

PI Financial is where Rutledge committed the alleged offences. After hearing customer complaints in November 2018, PI Financial fired Rutledge.

Rutledge allegedly used documents with forged signatures to make 35 illegal wire transfers that funneled nearly $900,000 to an Okanagan law firm and nearly $500,000 to a modular home builder and contractor. He also allegedly transferred $100,000 to a family member’s business and just over $62,000 to the estate of Rutledge’s wife’s father, according to the notice. Additionally, he allegedly used the company’s American funds to pay for the demolition of a house and provide even more money for his family members.

In December 2018, IIROC notified Rutledge that it was opening an investigation, which he never cooperated with, according to the agency. Rutledge did not attend his November 9, 2020 investigative interview.

Rutledge and his wife Sally Rutledge were sued by investors Robert Slaughter and Sharon Slaughter in November 2018. The case has not been active since April 2019, when the Slaughters spun off PI Financial Corp. as a defendant.

It is unclear if the Slaughters got their money back from the brokerage firm.

The Slaughters claim Jeffrey Rutledge told them his cousin withdrew the money to buy a house in the Okanagan, but the Slaughters noted that a new land title in Naramata for a $1.15 million home was as the Rutledges in 2017.

He is scheduled to appear before an IIROC panel on May 26. If the panel determines that Rutledge broke the rules, he faces administrative penalties, including restitution of ill-gotten gains, fines and penalties.

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