North Bay businessman and developer Renzo Silveri faces a fine and suspension after a virtual Ontario Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (CPA) Professional Conduct Committee disciplinary hearing this afternoon.
Silveri was the property manager and secretary of the board of directors for the Premier Road development called Premier Village.
On Dec. 13, 2019, Deputy Chair of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario Professional Conduct Committee, H.G. Fagan sent Silveri a letter outlining six allegations of professional misconduct. Silveri is a chartered accountant.
Included in the letter were allegations that Silveri served notices of lien for unpaid condominium fees on certain unitholders when he knew or should have known that the unitholders' condominium fees were paid and that he failed to remit $131,700 in Common Element Fees.
CPA lawyer Nisha Dhanoa told the committee today that Silveri was in a position of trust, calling his misconduct "serious" and "severe."
"In my view it (the punishment) is reasonable. It is proportionate to the severity of the misconduct and we do take the position that the misconduct found in this case was severe and the agreed-upon submission adequately addresses the need for deterrence and reinforces to the public that the regulator is regulating in the public interest."
Panel Chairman Stephen Dineley read out the sanctions imposed on Silveri including:
- a reprimand in writing
- a fine of $25,000 to be paid within 30 days
- Silveri is suspended from the rights and privileges in the CPA for seven months
- He is charged costs, fixed at $91,500, to be remitted to the CPA within 12 months
See the CPA Code of Professional Conduct here.
Silveri's lawyer Sean Dewart, in addressing the disciplinary committee said, "The member (Silveri) has shown by admitting to the misconduct, or in one small instance not opposing the finding, that there is no doubt that my client made a significant error in judgment motivated undoubtedly by the fact that he had his hat as a business person on, and wasn't adequately considering his role as a member of a profession.
"But what you can see unfolding from several hours, and in particular the admissions made leading to the joint submission, he has gained insight into the misconduct and I'm confident you will not see him again. I emphasize as well, the fact that there are no allegations of deceit, no allegations of misappropriation, no suggestion that he lined his own pocket. He is very candid in admitting errors in judgment, and I do not for a second suggest that this is not significant professional misconduct, but he has stayed on this side of the type of conduct that results in revocation (of membership in the CPA). This is an appropriate disposition of the matter and I am hopeful and confident that this member will not be before this committee in the future."
In a news release after the ruling, Silveri stated, “I have always believed that the CPAO substantially over-reached when it brought this complaint against me. Today I was vindicated with the vast majority of those allegations being withdrawn.
"I have admitted that I was in a technical breach of certain of my association’s rules of conduct and for which I have accepted the penalty. That said, my actions did not injure or harm any resident of the development.
"During my stewardship of the Premier Village development not once did the costs paid by its residents increase. Once the new management committee took over, the development has faced spiraling costs and substantial budget deficits arising primarily from poorly conceived strategies and a lack of understanding as to how to run a private condominium community. I feel terrible that the Premier Village residents have been put in this situation with the new management committee. My hope is the residents take a close look at how this development is now being run and hold its current leadership accountable.”
But Premier Village Board President Christine Lackmanec strongly disagrees with Silveri's assessment of the outcome.
"That's very interesting considering he pled guilty to most of the six charges that were made against him," she told BayToday. "He's basically been reprimanded severely, as far as I'm concerned. We're very happy with the way the CPA hearing went. We feel very justified."
Lackmanec says she's not sure where Silveri is getting his information, regarding his post-hearing comments.
"If he hadn't left us in the lurch we wouldn't be in this difficult situation. He left us with $11 in our reserve fund and he left us with $58 in our operating fund. I feel very vindicated. What they are saying to him very clearly is, what he's done is wrong."
Silveri still faces charges in court of:
- Seven counts of fraud over $5,000
- Two counts of theft over $5,000
- Criminal breach of trust
- Five counts of falsification of books and documents