Cease and desist order issued against paralegal

TORONTO (February 9, 2005) - The Superintendent of Financial Services today issued an interim Cease and Desist Order against a St. Catharines paralegal, Marcello Calise. The order is effective immediately.

Under subsection 441(4) of the Insurance Act, the Superintendent orders that Marcello Calise and Calise & Associates Legal Services Inc., and any agents or representatives thereof:

A. Immediately cease carrying on business as statutory accident benefit representatives;

B. Immediately notify in writing all clients of Calise and Calise & Associates Legal Services Inc. who have claims for statutory accident benefits that Calise can no longer act for them; provide them with a copy of this cease and desist order; and, provide copies of every notification sent to each client to the Superintendent forthwith; and,

C. Immediately cease advertising or holding out, in any form, as a statutory accident benefits representative within Ontario.

It is alleged that Calise misappropriated a client’s settlement funds and accepted fees under a contingency fee arrangement.

Despite repeated requests by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) for information about these allegations, Calise has not contacted FSCO. According to the Order “this failure to reply to FSCO strikes at the very heart of the regime to effectively ensure confidence in the automobile insurance system and allow FSCO to ensure compliance.”

A copy of the Order is available on the FSCO’s website.

The name Marcello Calise of Calise & Associates Legal Services Inc. no longer appears on FSCO’s list of paralegals who are authorized to act as statutory accident benefits (SABS) representatives. Claimants for SABS can check this list on the FSCO website to confirm that their representatives have met the regulatory requirements to act as SABS representatives.

As of November 1, 2003, no one may act as an adviser, consultant or representative on behalf of a person concerning a claim for SABS arising out of motor vehicle accidents, unless the representative meets certain requirements, set out in regulations. For example, representatives must now file a declaration with FSCO, purchase errors & omissions insurance coverage and adhere to a Code of Conduct.

Representatives who do not file a declaration cannot represent SABS claimants under any circumstances and can be prosecuted by FSCO.



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