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West Vancouver man agrees to $950K fine, 10-year investing ban for financial misconduct

Canadian cash is shown. (Shutterstock.com) Canadian cash is shown. (Shutterstock.com)
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A West Vancouver man has paid $950,000 to B.C.'s securities regulator and agreed to a 10-year ban from participating in the investment market for his role in a scheme that was abusive to the market.

The scheme involved "private placements" – sales of shares to small groups of investors that don't take place on the open market – and prepaid consulting fees.

Justin Edgar Liu and two companies he controlled – Lukor Capital Corp., which dissolved in 2017, and Asiatic Management Consultants Ltd. – admitted in a settlement agreement with the B.C. Securities Commission this week that they participated in the scheme. 

Liu and Lukor were "placees" for more than $5.6 million worth of shares in two companies, which were provided to them in three private placements, according to the BCSC.

They also received more than $600,000 worth of shares from other placees after two other private placements.

"In addition to obtaining private placement shares in their own names, the Liu respondents also paid $12,370,500 to other placees, who used the funds to purchase other private placement shares as part of the scheme," the settlement reads.

In all, the scheme involved nine issuers of securities making 12 private placements, from which they publicly announced total proceeds of more than $50.8 million, according to the agreement.

The nine companies only retained less than $7.9 million of that total, however, with the rest going to consultants such as Lukor, which had done little or no actual consulting work.

"One or more of the Liu respondents directly received consulting fees which collectively totaled $4,543,750 from all nine Issuers," the settlement reads. "One or more of the Liu respondents or other entities associated to Liu indirectly received additional amounts from other consultants."

The agreement notes that Liu and his companies' participation in the scheme constituted conduct that was abusive to the capital markets.

Under the settlement, Liu and his companies jointly agreed to pay $950,000 to the BCSC and to be banned from participating in the investment market for 10 years. There is an exception, however, that allows Liu to invest via his own account through a registered dealer or registrant, as long as he provides them with a copy of the BCSC's order against him first.

The BCSC said in a news release announcing the sanctions against Liu that he has already paid the $950,000 penalty. 

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