Is the BCSC’s Pension Fund part of a huge tax cheat scandal known as the Paradise Papers?
Should this come to no surprise to anyone? As we blogged in this post on September 18, 2017, the British Columbia Securities Commission regulates the very same companies that are under the umbrella of the B.C. Investment Management Corporation (“bcIMC”) – the BC public sector pension fund. As you can see we questioned how they can ethically keep things above board when they regulate companies that essentially affect their bottom line and pays millions of dollars out to BCSC staff members. We went on to point out a couple of entities that the BCSC “regulated” after wrongdoing. But now, can we add the title “ALLEGED TAX CHEAT” to the ongoing saga around the public sector in British Columbia?
According to The Breaker.news website, “British Columbia’s public sector pension investor is listed in the Paradise Papers, the database of offshore investments leaked to a German newspaper and published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. B.C. Investment Management Corporation, which goes by the brand bcIMC, reported $135.5 billion in assets under management for the year ended March 31, 2017.bcIMC and several related companies are in the database, including a bcIMC company registered in Bermuda at the tax haven’s now famous Appleby law firm.”
When the author of the article above contacted representatives from bcIMC and the BC Government for comment, their Chair (Mr. Peter Milburn) and BC Finance Minister Carole James did not respond – why would they? Furthermore, what are they now hiding or covering up?
This is the second time in recent days the publicly appointed Ms. James decided to keep her mouth shut. The Vancouver Sun ran an article on Friday (November 17, 2017) discussing the dismal record of the BCSC in their feeble attempts to collect fines and disgorgement from those that have broken (or alleged to have broken) securities laws in BC. NOTE: WE BLOGGED ABOUT THIS SAME SUBJECT IN MAY 2016!!
On Monday, November 20, 2017, the same reporter called on Ms. James for comment on the BCSC’s lack of action and again – as you can see here – she decided to have no comment. Sounds just like her predecessor – the Un-Honorable Mike de jong! LOL!
What a group of misfits!! When are the people of this Province going to wake up?
On May 11, 2016, we sent a letter to BCSC Chair BRENDA LEONG and requested she provide (to us) any correspondence between her Staff Litigators (C. Paige Leggat and Olubode Fagbamiye) and the Executive Director ( Paul Bourque ) regarding the Settlement Offer we were trying to bring forward that would possibly have brought funds back to the former investors in FCC and DCF.
As you see in this letter FOI Request #1617-0005 – Reply from BCSC – June 16, 2016.pub , Ms. Leong indicates there are no records matching my request. We don’t even want to begin to understand why there would be NO correspondence between lawyers/clients when millions of dollars could have been at stake for the investors – how is this even possible??
Not having internal correspondence between relevant parties (considering what was at stake for the former investors) reeks of unprofessionalism by Staff and certainly does not give any confidence they truly had the best interest of the investors during all relevant times.
That being said, Leong is either lying or (for whatever reason) there truly are NO records of correspondence between her star lawyers and their higher ups. Either way, this translates into a huge problem for the BCSC. Here’s why….
Assuming she is not lying, as per the Code of Ethic’s on the Law Society of British Columbia’s website , a lawyer must present ANY settlement offer it is presented to their client to avoid hearing. Staff DID NOT do this as they have admitted this in letters to the Respondents. In a file of this magnitude, and with the numerous attempts by us to settle – there is not one internal document related to the settlement offer that was presented? We truly find this hard to believe but if true – these are the people that are “protecting the capital markets in BC”??? Time for a WAKE UP CALL BRITISH COLUMBIA!!
And if she is lying then this becomes a bigger problem as she has been appointed to that position by elected government officials – more than likely Finance Minister Michael De jong or Premier Christy Clark.
In the first scenario above, we have the facts:
The Respondents submitted a Settlement Offer to the Commission on November 7, 2013 – Staff did not respond until December 30, 2013.
When Staff did reply, they stated they had NOT taken the Settlement Offer to the Executive Director and would only do so IF we plead guilty to ALL allegations AND paid approximately $5.8 million in fines and disgorgement.
As of June 16, 2016, we now have it in writing that there in NO communications whatsoever between Staff and the Executive Director with respect to any discussion regarding the Settlement Offer.
As we were preparing this latest blog post – something remarkable just became VERY apparent….what is happening down at the BCSC???
C.Paige Leggat – Staff Litigator RESIGNED OR TERMINATED IN 2014
Teresa Mitchell-Banks – Director of Enforcement RESIGNED OR TERMINATED IN 2015
Paul C. Bourque – Executive Director RESIGNED IN 2016
These are the 3 major parties that would have been responsible for negotiating, accepting or denying the settlement agreement WITH the investor in mind.
PLEASE….FORMER INVESTORS IN FCC AND DCF – HELP US GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS. AGAIN, THIS SETTLEMENT OFFER WAS NOT EVEN PRESENTED TO THE ONLY PERSON THAT COULD HAVE ACCEPTED IT ON YOUR BEHALF!
******CONTACT THE BCSC AND FIND OUT WHY!******
604-899-5600 or email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org
IF THEY DON’T ANSWER YOU, GO ABOVE THEIR HEADS AND CONTACT YOUR LOCAL MLA OR OTHER GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL! ITS VITAL!
It appears that as long as a quarter century ago, there was concern with the actions of British Columbia’s securities regulator. We found to following on Abel Danger with respect to BC whistle blower Adrien Du Plessis who uncovers what our financial regulators have their fingerprints all over. Take a look…
du Plessis worked as a stock fraud investigator privately and for the B.C. Securities Commission. He describes many of the stock frauds and scams he encountered and how, much to his chagrin and surprise, the Provincial Government and its regulators seemed to be complicit in this fraud by not prosecuting the many scammers working through the Vancouver Stock Exchange.
************************** A Short History of Vancouver Stock Exchange Fraud
Adrian du Plessis discusses Vancouver Stock Exchange fraud Feb. 1993
Adrian du Plessis stock fraud investigator Part 2 1996
Adrian du Plessis – Investigator
Behind the scenes, du Plessis investigated our then-notorious stock exchange. Many believe he almost made it go down in flames. Then he became less behind the scenes and started writing articles for magazines where the editors had to consult in detail with lawyers to avoid lawsuits. As far as I know, du Plessis only wrote the truth, and it was always a truth he had painstakingly researched over a long period of time.
Part of du Plessis’ talent came from an incredible photographic memory. A man’s photo would appear on the front page of The Vancouver Sun with an article on how he had been caught red-handed in a bank scandal. Five years later (the limit of Vancouver’s long time memory for facts such as these), the same man would be on the business page promoting a Veracruz sunken gold venture. Only du Plessis remembered.
But there is another man whose memory may be as good, and like du Plessis it would be next to impossible to buy. This is The Vancouver Sun‘s investigative business reporter, David Baines. For many years in those terrible times of our notorious stock exchange (the ’80s and early ’90s), Baines wrote damning articles on the shenanigans that passed for routine business in our city. Many of those articles were fueled by du Plessis’ research. And I distinctly remember that several times, security was provided for Baines, as he did receive death threats.
As far as I know, du Plessis never bought a car and never made much money with his writing. I believe that had the December 28, 2003 BC Legislature raid in Victoria been investigated by a duel Plessis/Baines team (someone would have gently pushed them from business to politics), we would not be where we are now. I only wonder how du Plessis would modify his often-used term “white-collar crime” for incidents such as these. [Source]
Looking back at the very incompetent Staff at the British Columbia Securities Commission that mishandled our file – we can’t help but mention this failure – Mrs. Colette Colter. No matter the job she was tasked with – she always seemed to screw something up. We hope she sings better than she types! Let’s take a look…
BCSC’s Mrs. Colette Colter (left)
THE WRONG DATE ON THE NOTICE OF HEARING
It all started with the day that Staff brought forward their phony allegation that Wharram and the Corporate Respondents absconded with $5.45 million dollars. Albeit it was not Colter that had anything to do with investigating the allegations, or even bringing them forward for that matter but that isn’t our point. Facts are, her superiors gave her the simple Grade 5 task of physically typing the Notice of Hearing that was the foundation of the allegations against the Respondents. For the record, the date we received the documents from the BCSC was June 14, 2013…not 2012 as you see from Page 5 of the Notice of Hearing below:
And confirmation the document was created by Colter….
We get that in the overall realm of things its not really that big of a deal – typos happen all the time. But this document is probably the most important one of the entire matter – this is the document that formally brings allegations of wrongdoing to a Respondent. You would think a person would be able to type the date – specifically that right year. That being said, we can confirm people FAR higher than her up the chain at the Commission (including the failures C. Paige Legatt, Olubode Fagbamiye, Lori Chambers, Mark Hilford, Elizabeth “Liz” Chan, C. Paul Bourque and Brenda Leong) ALL saw this document before it was sent out. No one had the brains capable of noticing and correcting this? These people make millions of dollars every year to be so-called “professionals”!
When asked about the wrong date during cross-examination, the flunky Chan fumbled her words in the most incompetent way!
Its interesting in that Chan admits to making “note” of the mistake before it was sent out – admitting she saw the mistake – and yet still allowed it to be sent to the Respondents? Maybe this is why she is no longer employed at the Commission???
WILL SAY STATEMENT HAD WRONG NAME
Typos are one thing but getting a name completely wrong on a legal document is pathetic. Now, the following may or may not have been Colter’s fault as there is a chance that the boneheads C. Paige Legatt and Olubode Fagbamiye could have been at fault when they dictated her their notes.
Either way, as a Respondent, we were legally able to prepare for our hearing by receiving a Will Say Statement from Staff that would allow us to prepare for our cross examination of their witness. In this case, it was one of the former investors that was going to appear for Staff. Weeks before the hearing, Staff sent us the Will Say Statement and as you can see below it states, “He invested in Falls Capital Corp. on the recommendation of Susan Wong of Portfolio Strategies Corporation.” This was very odd as I had NEVER heard of a Susan Wong that worked for that firm.
When we questioned their witness about it during the cross-examination, he indicated he had never heard of a Susan Wong:
Fagbamiye was hilarious – I remember actually thinking how much of a complete idiot he was when trying to stammer out the words in his thick accent…how could a “highly” trained lawyer be such a train-wreck in a hearing room?? I also remember glancing at C. Paige Legattand seeing her just staring at him in almost disbelief. The hearing was not a great time in my life but I remember being amused while they went through their binders trying to get the the bottom of their feeble mistakes! The sweat on Fagbamiye’s brow was showing!
As you guessed it – the infamous Colette Colter was the author of this document as well….
SENDING CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS FROM ANOTHER CASE
And finally, we have what can only be called a careless mistake Colter made while sending highly confidential emails. These emails were sent to me and were from another matter with a completely different Respondent. Simply, they sent me documents that were suppose to go to someone completely else. Colter is a mess at this point in the junction…
As you can see above, she attached document “#1602059 Wood – Executive Directors Reply Submissions” . She recalled the email a short while later but nonetheless, this poor Respondents personal correspondence was sent out to the wrong recipient because of Mrs. Colette Colter. #FAILURE
We feel that if you are going to call yourself a Legal Assistant (and physically take a pay cheque from a government agency) that it should require complete professionalism. And you should probably not make fundamental GRADE 5 mistakes – really, how hard can it be? Case law tells us that IF a policeman writes the wrong date on a speeding ticket their is the possibility that a judge will throw out the charges yet this simpleton can make blatant mistake after mistake and still hold her job? Again, this seems to be the norm at the BCSC! When is it going to change?
In the near future, we are going to highlight different fuck ups from the people down at the good ole British Columbia Securities Commission….as always stay tuned!
As we enter into 2018, one can only wonder what is going to happen this year down at the good ole British Columbia Securities Commission. Our prediction is simple – another year of NOTHING! Fines will remain uncollected….Brenda Leong will still collect her $500,000 pay cheque while failing the people of this Province….and dopes like Olubode Fagbamiye will still do ANYTHING to make a case against Respondents.
CRIMINAL CHARGES ARE NOT IN THE BCSC’S BEST INTEREST
I have had people ask me recently why they BCSC did not pursue criminal charges against me (and several other of their many allegations over the years). In actuality, the BCSC bark is much stronger than its bite. For many accused fraudsters life continues as if nothing even happened – they simply move to another profession or move out of the Province in which they were charged. It is in these situation that former investors fell even more helpless and that there truly is no recourse against the wrongdoing.
It is our opinion that the crux of the matter is that the BCSC (and their counterparts in other Provinces) prefer it this way – for a couple of different reasons:
First, they are complete egomaniacs that want to control every inch of an investigation – they are able to throw whatever they want at the wall and hope it sticks. In a criminal investigation the level of proof (before a judge will issue a warrant) and even hear allegation in a court room is far greater. Investigators (including the complete and udder failure Elizabeth “Liz” Chan and her boss at the time – the flunky Lori Chambers) are able to run around with their badges and have relatively no experience – remember Chan was a simple Chartered Accountant when she started at the BCSC. How does a CA end up with a badge? She was trained to add numbers up and wasn’t even able to do that right – how can the BCSC justify giving this inept person conduct on a file?
And secondly (and more importantly) they are able to bring many bogus allegations against Issuers WITHOUT having to really prove anything. They do NOT have to appear in front of a judge or jury and need to only prove their case on the “balance of probabilities” (50.1%) in front of their OWN peers – rather than in a courtroom where a far greater case must be presented to prove allegations against any Respondent. Respondents really don’t stand a chance and the process certainly is not fair to all parties – despite this being a mandate on the BCSC’s website.
Please understand, the BCSC is run internally where Respondents must go against an Executive Director, lawyers and a Panel of appointed Commissionaires whom are ALL paid by the same internally run BC Securities Commission. Shockingly, during our hearing it was an almost daily event to see the flunky lawyers walk out with Chan and get in the elevator. One can almost be certain that they had private meetings to discuss strategy during the days of the hearing – this would NEVER happen in a criminal case with real lawyers and judges. During the hearing, when we asked the Panel Chair Nigel Cave about this his reply was, “We are not even going to entertain that comment…”. He completely swept my question under the rug as they did with many of my comments.
And let’s not forget the investors – as we blogged in the past, the BCSC can’t even collect on these fines. They have levied fines of OVER $340 million dollars and have only collected a small fraction over the years as you can see here in this blog. What a complete joke this system is – completely broken and in need of an overhaul starting at the top with Brenda Leong! Investors deserve better!