April 19, 2017
Vancouver - In a settlement agreement with the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC), Virginia Tan has admitted that she fraudulently raised at least $30 million from investors.
Before 2011, Tan, a B.C. resident, raised funds from investors, issued them promissory notes, and used the funds for short-term, high interest loans to individuals and small businesses. After 2011, Tan continued to raise funds from investors and to issue promissory notes, but no longer used investors' funds for loans. The cover letters she gave to investors with their promissory notes still stated that the investments were for "short-term financing" and "to finance short term investments."
Tan did not earn income from any other business. She made interest and principal payments to investors with funds she raised from other investors and with a small amount of her own funds.
Tan eventually was unable to raise enough new funds to pay investors, and she ceased paying them by late 2015. The total amount she raised from investors after 2011 was approximately the same amount she paid investors in principal and interest payments. However, many investors suffered substantial losses as a result of their investments with Tan.
Several investors started lawsuits against Tan, and one investor petitioned her into bankruptcy. Tan is currently an undischarged bankrupt. The court appointed a trustee to liquidate Tan's assets and distribute proceeds to Tan's creditors, including her investors.
Tan agreed to pay $3 million to the BCSC in settlement of this matter. The BCSC will take steps to collect this sum after Tan has paid the amounts owing to investors. Tan has been ordered to cease trading in, and is permanently prohibited from purchasing, any securities or exchange contracts, and she must resign any positions she holds as, and is permanently prohibited from becoming or acting as, a director or officer of any issuer or registrant. She is also permanently banned from becoming or acting as a registrant or promoter, acting in a management or consultative capacity in connection with activities in the securities market, and engaging in investor relations activities.
You may view the settlement agreement on our website, www.bcsc.bc.ca, by typing Virginia Tan or 2017 BCSECCOM 124 in the search box. Information about disciplinary proceedings can be found in the Enforcement section of the BCSC website.
Please visit the Canadian Securities Administrators' (CSA) Disciplined List for information relating to persons and companies disciplined by provincial securities regulators, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (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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604-899-6854 or 1-800-373-6393 (toll free)
Learn how to protect yourself and become a more informed investor at www.investright.org