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BCSC alleges $47 million investment fraud by insurance group’s top officers

Nov. 7, 2018 – The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) has issued a notice of hearing alleging that three leaders of a once fast-growing insurance group committed fraud by getting hundreds of people to purchase unsecured loan agreements.

The BCSC alleges that Aik Guan “Frankie” Lim and Scott Thomas Low, the directors and founders of FS Financial Strategies Inc. and related companies in the FS insurance group, dishonestly raised over $47 million between 2012 and 2017 by failing to disclose to investors that the company wasn’t profitable, its financial situation was deteriorating, and it survived by raising money from investors to cover its expenses.

The notice says that Darrell Wayne Wiebe, the company’s general manager, was aware of the FS insurance group’s true financial condition and contributed to the fraud by routinely advising Lim and Low how much the company needed to raise from investors to stay afloat.

The BCSC says investors were promised interest payments of 10 per cent to 12 per cent, payable monthly. Lim and Low “created an illusion of profitability” by opening new offices in rapid succession; donating money to charities; telling customers that they planned to take the insurance group public; and hosting parties for clients and staff at expensive hotels.

The notice of hearing names six additional people – Chun Ying “Jim” Pan, Chung-Sheng “Johnson” Kao, George Lay, Gagan Deep Bachra, Chi Kay “Dixon” Wong and Meng Cher “Philip” Tsai – who were appointed by Lim and Low as directors of related companies in the FS insurance group that also sold the unsecured loans. The related companies are alleged to have sold securities without a prospectus and without being registered to do so.

The BCSC alleges that Lim and Low, in addition to committing fraud, selling securities without a prospectus and selling securities without being registered, also violated the B.C. Securities Act by continuing to trade and sell securities after making a legal promise to the BCSC’s executive director, in 2014, that they would stop.

A hearing on the matter will be held Dec. 4, 2018 at 9:00 a.m., which all of the individuals named in the notice, or their counsel, have been invited to attend.

The notice of hearing can be viewed on the BCSC’s website, www.bcsc.bc.ca, by typing the names of any of the respondents or 2018 BCSECCOM 330 in the search box. Information about disciplinary proceedings can be found in the Enforcement section of the BCSC website.

Please visit the Canadian Securities Administrators’ (CSA) Disciplined List for information relating to persons and companies disciplined by provincial securities regulators, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA).

Deborah McCoy – Is an investigative journalist and has over 17 years of investigation experience in both the private and public business sectors. Since joining CFN, Ms. McCoy has become a true advocate for victims of fraud and increasing the public’s awareness in fraud prevention.