A prominent B.C. Liberal donor and fundraiser, Paul Oei, defrauded investors of about $5 million in an immigration scheme, a B.C. Securities Commission panel has ruled.
Postmedia News has reported extensively on the case of Oei, including testimony from Chinese investors that alleged Oei promoted his connections with top Canadian politicians, including then B.C. premier Christy Clark and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
In the case, Oei was accused of bilking investors of $6.9 million in an immigration-investment scam surrounding Cascade, a proposed Port Coquitlam recycling plant. Of $13.3 million raised for the project, almost half went into Oei’s personal bank accounts, his immigration business Canadian Manu, and for renting luxury cars, including a Bentley. The panel heard that Oei impressed investors by “rubbing elbows” with politicians, and that Clark and her B.C. Liberals received $37,888 in political donations that came directly from investor funds for Cascade.
Last year, the B.C. Liberals told Postmedia that if allegations against him are proven, “we would return the funds — or forfeit to Elections B.C.”
On Wednesday, a party spokesman stated: “We will follow through on our commitment.”
The panel found that Oei used Canadian Manu and various numbered companies to divert 63 investments, totalling just over $5 million.
“The respondents misappropriated these funds and used them for their own purposes and not as the investors were told they would be used,” the panel stated.
The panel has directed parties in the Oei case to make submissions on potential sanctions.
The panel heard that he instilled confidence in the investors — many of whom did not speak English — by having them transfer funds into the legal trust of Peschisolido & Company.
The firm was directed by Richmond federal Liberal MP Joe Peschisolido at the time.
A statement from the panel on Wednesday said: “In most cases, investors paid their funds into an account with the respondent’s’ counsel, who dispersed the investor funds into six bank accounts of Canadian Manu and Oei.”
Some of the investors have sued Peschisolido. Peschisolido and his firm deny any wrongdoing.
Read the full story over at The Vancouver Sun.
This story was summarized by Canadian Fraud News Inc.