Friday, December 21, 2007
The British Columbia Securities Commission has imposed the largest fine in its history against former mutual fund salesman Ian Thow, who has also been banned from participating in the province's capital markets.
Mr. Thow, who was a vice-president in the Victoria office of Berkshire Investment Group Inc., has been ordered to pay a fine of $6-million for defrauding numerous clients. In a ruling in October, a BCSC hearing panel called the case “one of the most callous and audacious frauds this province has seen.”
A spokesman for the commission said it is the largest fine ever imposed by the BCSC. The hearing panel chose to apply recent legislative changes to the province's securities act, which came into effect in 2006 and 2007, and increased the maximum possible penalties the commission can impose.
It's uncertain, however, whether Mr. Thow will agree to pay the fine because he now lives in Seattle and is not involved in the British Columbia investment industry.
Mr. Thow was also permanently banned from trading securities in the province or from being a manager or consultant in connection with the securities market. He is also prohibited from serving as an officer or director of a public company or an investment fund manager.