West Van man fined $1M for defrauding investors

A B.C. Securities Commission panel has ordered that a West Vancouver man pay a $1-million fine and be permanently banned from the stock market for cheating nine investors out of $1.4 million.

The securities commission handed out the sanctions to Roy Ping Bai (also known as Ping Bai) and RBP Consulting, the company he controlled, May 14.

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According to securities commission findings, Bai and his company collected the cash from investors between February 2012 and December 2013, telling them that their money would be invested in foreign exchange trading accounts. Investors were promised high rates of return, according to the securities commission – generally five per cent per month or between 30 and 60 per cent per year.

But in reality, Bai only put $129,000 of the money into foreign exchange accounts, according to the commission. The rest was used to pay returns to original investors and to pay personal expenses of Bai and his family.

The panel added that Bai and his company “carried out an extensive campaign of deceit, which was designed to forestall investors from seeking the return of their funds and from learning of (Bai’s) misappropriation of their investments.”

In a series of letters to investors between April 2012 and July 2014, Bai told investors that the company had started the process to become publicly listed but had run into delays, that a tax audit was delaying payment of investments and that investors could expect to see their money shortly.

Bai later admitted “all of this correspondence was untrue and that these communications were made to give the respondents more time in order to try to pay back the investors,” according to the commission.

In addition to the $1-million penalty, the securities panel ordered that Bai and his company pay back $1.3 million of the money he obtained by defrauding his investors.

Bai has also been banned from acting as a director or officer of any company and from acting as a promoter or management consultant for any company connected with the securities market.

Alison Walker, spokeswoman for the securities commission, said “we vigorously pursue collections” but added it’s hard to say at this point how much money may be returned to Bai’s investors.

According to a sanction payment status report maintained by the BC Securities Commission on its website, penalties ordered against four North Shore people in three separate cases for violating securities regulations in recent years remain unpaid.

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