Investors Scrutinizing the Regulators

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Thow's Saanich house sold
Investment adviser fled, owing $43m


Monday, January 02, 2006

VICTORIA -- The Central Saanich waterfront estate home of disgraced investment counsellor Ian Thow has been sold.

The asking price was $5.75 million for the four-bedroom, seven- bathroom 6,500-square-foot house on a 2.8-hectare lot with a helicopter pad on West Saanich Road.

Thow fled to Washington last September, owing nearly $43 million to more than 100 people and firms in Canada.

Bankruptcy trustee Mike Cheevers of Wolrige Mahon Ltd. confirmed that an offer had been accepted and the sale is likely to be completed in the spring.

The sale price and the identity of the purchaser were not available. The property had been on the market for 93 days until Dec. 23.

Thow, a former senior vice-president with Berkshire Investment Group, bought the palatial property in 2002.

People who invested with the high-flying Thow ranged from retired teachers to Alex Campbell, chairman of Thrifty Foods.

Berkshire has distanced itself from any of Thow's dealings.

RCMP are considering fraud charges against Thow, a move that would allow Canada to extradite him.

Brad Goodwin of Richmond, whose family members invested more than $1 million with Thow, is pessimistic.

He said he believes the only hope for investors is if Thow has some money squirrelled away, money that can be dislodged if he is brought back to Canada.

"We are just waiting in the high hope these fraud charges arrive sometime soon," he said.

The Central Saanich home is reportedly Thow's main asset.

Cheevers said secured creditors who must be paid include mortgage holder Bank of Nova Scotia, Thow's lawyers, several companies with builder's liens and the municipality, which will be owed property taxes. Those creditors are owed about $3.5 million, he said.


Ian Thow takes flight