A group of companies and its founders have been fined almost $ 37 million by a BC Securities Commission panel says it misled investors, carried out unregistered transactions and sold securities illegally.
The panel said it ordered FS Financial Strategies and six other companies in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario to pay $ 32.8 million for “making statements misleading to hundreds of investors ”as well as for illegally selling securities and engaging in unregistered trading.
He also ordered company founders Aik Guan (Frankie) Lim and Scott Thomas Low to pay $ 2 million each, and permanently banned them from the British Columbia investment markets.
Former corporate director Darrell Wayne Wiebe has been ordered to pay $ 75,000 and has been banned from British Columbia investment markets for a decade.
The securities commission says in a press release that Lim, Low and the group FS admitted to having raised more than 47 million dollars with 389 investors without revealing that the company was not profitable and covered its deficits by collecting more money from investors.
The panel says in its ruling that the FS group is unlikely to reimburse investors, and after the commission made a temporary order in 2017 against the companies, the Insurance Council of British Columbia suspended or terminated the licenses of sale of insurance for founders and companies.
The commission also said that Lim and Low had sold $ 29 million in securities in violation of a 2014 legal commitment to the securities commission not to trade or distribute securities until one of its companies filed the appropriate documents and repaid the investor loans.
“The severity of the fault was magnified by the large amount of money and the large number of investors involved, and the duration of the fault,” said the panel in its decision.
The commission’s press release said that Lim, Low and the FS group admitted their fault in an agreed statement of facts filed last year. In a separate agreement, Wiebe is said to have agreed to the conduct.
The agreements led to a hearing in February to determine the sanctions.