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 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 she have conduct on a file as an investigator??
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” (51%) in front of their own peers – rather than in a courtroom where a far greater case must be presented to prove their allegations. 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.
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. During our hearing, it was an almost daily event to see the 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 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!