According to the Globe & Mail, Renée Morier, the former executive assistant to now-retired BCE chief financial officer, Siim Vanaselja, has been charged by Quebec’s securities regulator for insider trading.
The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) said that Morier tipped off pending deals to friends and family members that BCE was involved with between 2012 and 2015, specifically BCE’s intentions to acquire Glentel Inc., Bell Aliant and Astral Media.
Bell, along with Rogers, bought Glentel this year for $594-million. BCE acquired Bell Aliant for $3.95-billion in 2014, and Astral Media for $3.2-billion in 2013.
Morier is currently facing nine charges, while six others participants, including Morier’s spouse Sylvain Milette, Morier’s parents, Mr. Milette’s parents, and friend Francis Beauchamp, have been charged with insider trading and tipping.
The total amount the group reportedly gained through the illegal tipping was over of $1 million between 2012 and 2015. If found guilty on all charges, Renée Morier is liable to a minimum fine of $73,000, and Sylvain Milette is liable for a minimum fine of $138,802. Francis Beauchamp is on the hook for a whopping $703,484 if found guilty. In addition, Renée Morier, Sylvain Milette and Francis Beauchamp are also facing prison terms.
AMF President and CEO Louis Morisset, said, “By using privileged information that is not available to the public, offenders create an imbalance that has an impact on investor confidence and market efficiency. This is unacceptable and the reason why the AMF has made deterring illegal insider trading a top priority. Our investigation teams continue to develop and refine tools to enable them to more effectively identify suspicious market transactions. These efforts will, we hope, deter others who try to capitalize on privileged information in order to realize illegal profits.”