March 27, 2015
Vancouver – A British Columbia Securities Commission panel has fined and ordered permanent bans against Michael Patrick Lathigee and Earle Douglas Pasquill for perpetrating frauds. Lathigee and Pasquill jointly directed and controlled a group of companies called the Freedom Investment Club (FIC Group). The FIC Group included FIC Real Estate Projects Ltd., FIC Foreclosure Fund Ltd., and WBIC Canada Ltd.
In July 2014, a commission panel found that between February 1, 2008 and November 15, 2008, Lathigee and Pasquill fraudulently raised a total of $21.7 million through the sale of securities to 698 investors without telling the investors important facts about the financial condition of corporate respondents FIC Group and FIC Foreclosure.
The panel found that Lathigee and Pasquill knew when they were distributing the securities that FIC Group had severe cash flow problems, including an unfunded $8 million cost overrun on the company’s biggest project. The panel also found that Lathigee and Pasquill used most of the $9.9 million raised from 331 investors in FIC Foreclosure to make loans to related companies, instead of investing the funds in foreclosures of residential properties in the United States (the purpose for which the funds were raised).
Discussing the extent of the misconduct, the panel wrote, “The magnitude of the fraud perpetrated in this case is among the largest in British Columbia history. The respondents raised $21.7 million from 698 investors without telling them that the FIC Group had a severe cash flow problem”.
Lathigee was ordered to pay a $15 million administrative penalty to the commission, and to resign any position he holds as an officer of a director of an issuer or registrant. The panel ordered that Lathigee be permanently banned from trading in securities, purchasing securities or exchange contracts, and from becoming or acting as a director or officer of any issuer or registrant. He is also permanently prohibited from becoming or acting as a registrant or promoter, from engaging in investor relations activities, and from acting in a management or consultative capacity in connection with the securities market.
Pasquill was ordered to pay a $15 million administrative penalty to the commission, and to resign any position he holds as an officer of a director of an issuer or registrant. The panel ordered that Pasquill be permanently banned from trading in securities, purchasing securities or exchange contracts, and from becoming or acting as a director or officer of any issuer or registrant. He is also permanently prohibited from becoming or acting as a registrant or promoter, from engaging in investor relations activities, and from acting in a management or consultative capacity in connection with the securities market.
The panel also ordered the respondents to disgorge to the commission the monies obtained as a result of their misconduct:
- $9.8 million (distributions relating to FIC Projects) – FIC Projects, Lathigee and Pasquill
- $9.9 million (distributions relating to FIC Foreclosure) - FIC Foreclosure, Lathigee and Pasquill; and
- $2 million (distributions relating to WBIC) - WBIC, Lathigee and Pasquill.
All of the corporate respondents have been permanently cease-traded.
You may view the sanctions decision on our website www.bcsc.bc.ca by typing Michael Patrick Lathigee, Earle Douglas Pasquill, FIC Real Estate Projects Ltd., FIC Foreclsoure Fund Ltd., WBIC Canada Ltd., or 2015 BCSECCOM 78 in the search box. Information regarding disciplinary proceedings can be found in the Enforcement section of the BCSC website.
Please visit the Canadian Securities Administrators’ Disciplined Persons List for information relating to persons disciplined by provincial securities regulators, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association (MFDA).
About the British Columbia Securities Commission (www.bcsc.bc.ca)
The British Columbia Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating capital markets in British Columbia through the administration of the Securities Act. Our mission is to protect and promote the public interest by fostering:
- A securities market that is fair and warrants public confidence
- A dynamic and competitive securities industry that provides investment opportunities and access to capital
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Richard Gilhooley, Media Relations
604-899-6854 or 1-800-373-6393 (toll free)
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