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Vancouver man charged for allegedly withdrawing funds from 'frozen' accounts, regulator says

The entrance to Vancouver provincial court on Main Street is seen in a CTV News file image. The entrance to Vancouver provincial court on Main Street is seen in a CTV News file image.

A Vancouver man who owes money to the B.C. Securities Commission has been criminally charged for allegedly withdrawing funds from accounts that were subject to a "freeze order."

Scott Thomas Low is charged with failing to comply with a decision made under the provincial Securities Act, the BCSC announced in a statement Tuesday.

The allegations against him have not been proven. The 74-year-old is scheduled to make his first appearance in Vancouver provincial court on May 23.

The BCSC alleges that, in 2018, Low withdrew funds from bank accounts that were subject to a "freeze order," now known as a preservation order. Such orders prohibit the transfer of property – including money, physical property or investments – so that such property is available to pay any financial sanctions the regulator imposes for misconduct.

The charge was laid against Low after an investigation by the BCSC's criminal investigations branch. If found guilty, Low could face penalties including fines, imprisonment, probation and restitution orders, according to the BCSC.

The securities commission did not say why the freeze order was made against Low in the first place, nor what types of accounts he was ordered to preserve.

Low was one of three men and several companies penalized in a 2020 decision by a panel of the BCSC

That decision names Low and Aik Guan “Frankie” Lim as co-founders of FS Financial Strategies and the other companies, known collectively as the FS Group.

In the decision, Lim, Low and the FS Group admitted to raising more than $47 million from 389 investors without disclosing that the company wasn't profitable and was covering its shortfalls by raising more money from investors.

For this misconduct, the panel imposed lifetime financial market bans on Lim and Low, ordered FS Group to pay $32.8 million, and ordered the co-founders to pay $2 million each in penalties.

With files from The Canadian Press Top Stories

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