Court decision gives Stewiacke woman ‘glimmer of hope’

Raissa Tetanish
Published on February 13, 2014
Pam Osborne
Truro Daily News

STEWIACKE – Pam Osborne stayed up late Wednesday night, reading every word included in a 73-page decision.

The decision, issued by Supreme Court Justice Robert Wright, ruled Keybase Financial was responsible for client losses that were defrauded by advisor John Alexander Allen.

“I’m very hopeful,” said Osborne, who, along with her mother, will see their civil suit go before the Supreme Court in Truro at the end of May. “But who knows how this is going to impact all the others, and Keybase can always appeal.”

In the decision, Justice Wright said Keybase, of which Allen was an employee, was more concerned with protecting its own best interest by trying to preserve the various investment portfolios.

“For us, which is myself and my mother, it’s a glimmer of hope. That’s how we’re looking at it,” Osborne said.

“Justice Wright took into account all the aspects and all the stories were similar. It was hard (reading the decision). I know every pain, I know what these people have gone through.”

Last November, Keybase Financial advisor Allen was convicted on four counts of fraud and given an 18-month conditional sentence. The Supreme Court ruling affects nine clients represented by New Glasgow-based lawyer Jamie MacGillivray out of Allen’s 18 former clients, including some in Colchester County.

Osborne said her and her mother’s cases are two of three being represented by Robert Pineo of Patterson Law.

The decision was made in favour of the clients and found Keybase liable for their losses.

For Osborne, she related to many of the stories that she read in the decision. She took out a $100,000 loan at the recommendation of Allen, who then forged her name to other related documents. Osborne’s loan, all told with those taken out by her family members, amount to more than $1 million.

“It was really hard to read because some were spouses and some had passed on, like my father,” she said. “I could really relate to it. There was one couple, who like me, was really good friends with John. For me, I fully trusted him. You would trust your financial advisor, but this was one step further in that trust because I was friends with him.”

While she wasn’t sure if a decision would be made before her case goes to court (it was supposed to be last year, then postponed to later this month but has been delayed again because of another criminal matter before the courts), she’s happy to see something coming to an end.

“I’m very, very happy for them, very happy, that their journey has come to an end. It’s been a long time … too long.”

Twitter: @TDNRaissa