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Ex-Thow clients upset

Barry Critchley

Friday, July 04, 2008

Clients of Ian Thow, the former advisor at Berkshire Investment Group charged by Vancouver Integrated Market Enforcement Team (IMET) last week with 25 counts of fraud, are less than happy with the treatment they received.

"The issue will not go away, despite efforts of the financial industry," said one client, noting some former Thow clients have gained "some recovery of funds from Berkshire and are now seeing charges proceed."

But this client, who responded to a recent column on charges being laid against Thow, was upset at the language used when IMET announced the fraud charges. "Many of Thow's victims also made complaints to the RCMP and did so months before Berkshire even would admit he was an employee. [The IMET] statement makes it appear that Berkshire was the moving force behind charging Thow, when in fact, for months Berkshire distanced themselves and denied it was their problem," the client said.

"Please don't let your readers forget the impact on and the work done by many of Thow's victims to get to this stage of charging Thow."

The Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada imposed a $500,000 fine against Berkshire. The agreement concerned Berkshire's failure to conduct reasonable supervisory investigations between September, 2004, and June, 2005, "in response to reports it received concerning the activities of ... Thow.  Thow persuaded numerous individuals, including clients of Berkshire, to provide him with money that he promised to invest on their behalf but instead used for his personal benefit," the MFDA said.


Ian Thow takes flight