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Fake financial advisor who defrauded seniors fined $340K

Alvinder Singh Gill took more than $258,000 from Langley retirees over 10 years
Former Abbotsford financial adviser Alvinder Gill was fined $340,000 by a regulatory agency after he defrauded a Langley couple out of their retirement savings. (Facebook photo)

A Surrey man who defrauded a Langley couple out of their retirement savings has been fined and banned from the industry by Canada’s regulator of mutual funds.

The Canada Investments Regulatory Organization (CIRO) found that Alvinder Singh Gill, who worked in Abbotsford, misappropriated the cash from retirees Donald and Suzanne LaPierre. The agency fined him $310,000 plus another $30,000 in hearing costs.

“It is difficult to imagine misconduct more detrimental to the public interest than an approved person perpetrating a financial fraud against a retired couple,” the CIRO decision says, adding later that it was a “grotesque failure to observe the most basic ethical standards required of registrants.”

The fraud began in 2010, when Gill, operating a business called Greynote Group Financial Services, met the LaPierres through a mutual friend, and claimed he could offer them real estate “trust fund investments” through Canada Life.

Gill told the couple the investment was “no risk” and that they could receive seven per cent interest annually going forward. He falsely claimed to be a financial adviser.

“The purported investment did not exist,” notes the CIRO ruling. “It was a fiction neither known to, nor approved by, Canada Life.”

Over the next 10 years, the LaPierres would continually increase their investment with Gill, giving him amounts ranging from $500 to $45,000, often contributing twice a year. In total, he received more than $330,000 from the couple.

“The defining characteristic of the respondent’s misconduct was it’s deliberateness,” the decision says.

Only once did the couple get any money from Gill. According to the CIRO ruling, in 2018, Gill transferred $71,638 to the couple at their request, claiming that part of the fake investment had matured. In total, the LaPierres lost more than $258,000.

According to the LaPierres’ lawsuit against Gill, by 2020, he was showing them account statements claiming they held more than $416,000 in investments.

But in February that year, they asked to withdraw their money. Gill promised a cashier’s cheque was on its way, but over the following months offered various excuses for it’s failure to appear.

Finally, he confessed to the couple that their investment had been a fraud in August of 2020. He then told them that if they reported this to police or a regulatory agency, they would never get any of their money back because it would all be lost to various fines.

The LaPierres called the RCMP, and then contacted Gill’s employer, Sun Life, which was not aware that he had been running Greynote as a side business.

Gill has already agreed to a $450,000 civil court judgement after the LaPierre’s sued him after discovering the fraud in 2020, but according to the CIRO decision, he never paid any of it.

In their lawsuit against Gill, the LaPierres alleged that most of the money they gave Gill went towards the down payment and mortgage payments for a Surrey townhouse in the 5800 block of 144th Street, as well as potentially other real estate and expenses. BC Assessment lists the property’s current value at $851,000.

Court documents show the LaPierres were pursuing the seizure of the townhouse to recover their money.

READ ALSO: Langley man accused of $2.4 million fraud from his employer

CIRO began investigating Gill in the fall of 2020, but ran into a brick wall, when he failed to provide investigators with any documents or information.

The agency tried to hold a disciplinary hearing starting in early 2023, but Gill had the hearings delayed five times, often alleging he was in severe psychological distress. He was hospitalized several times just before the hearings.

“From the beginning of the hearing the respondent [Gill] had at every opportunity invoked psychological distress to argue it was essential that the hearing be deferred, but had consistently failed to provide the evidence necessary to justify doing so,” said the CIRO ruling.

He also repeatedly asked for delays to give him time to hire a lawyer, but never provided any evidence showing he had made a serious attempt to do so.

After the sixth attempted adjournment, the panel went ahead in September and November with a hearing. Gill attended both dates.

In addition to the fines and costs of $340,000 from the CIRO ruling, Gill is now banned from working in the industry permanently.

Online court records show Gill has not been criminally charged.

Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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