March 5, 2012
BCSC Executive Director’s Bulletin: Securities regulator issues notice of hearing alleging fraud against former President and CEO of Vancouver group of companies
Vancouver – The executive director of the British Columbia Securities Commission has issued a notice of hearing alleging that two men who were directors and officers of a Vancouver-based group of companies committed fraud.
The notice alleges that Michael Patrick Lathigee and Earle Douglas Pasquill perpetrated a fraud on investors in companies belonging to the Freedom Investment Club (FIC), a group of companies jointly controlled and directed by Lathigee and Pasquill. The companies in question are:
• WBIC Canada Ltd. (WBIC)
• FIC Real Estate Projects Ltd. (FIC Projects)
• FIC Foreclosure Fund Ltd. (FIC Foreclosure)
Both Lathigee and Pasquill were residents of Vancouver during the relevant period.
By early 2008, FIC had taken on significant debt in relation to several Alberta real estate properties it had acquired and was attempting to develop. All of the loans included guarantees from other FIC companies. Also at this time, Lathigee and Pasquill were aware that FIC as a whole was, in their own words, “in a very bad situation” and “close to insolvency”, but chose to keep this information confidential and instead focused on raising money in an effort to “save” FIC.
Between February 1, 2008 and November 15, 2008, Lathigee, Pasquill, WBIC, FIC Projects and FIC Foreclosure aggressively promoted and distributed securities that they represented as individual investments: approximately $20 million was raised in aggregate from over 600 investors in these three companies.
The notice alleges that Lathigee and Pasquill did not disclose that the FIC was close to insolvency and that the investments were therefore extremely risky, instead choosing to promote investments in their companies as spectacular opportunities with enormous profits, thereby perpetrating a fraud on investors of WBIC, FIC Projects and FIC Foreclosure.
These allegations have not been proven. Counsel for the executive director will apply to set dates for a hearing into the allegations before a panel of commissioners on March 20, 2012 at 9:00am.
The B.C. Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating trading in securities within the province. You may view the notice of hearing on our website www.bcsc.bc.ca by typing Michael Patrick Lathigee, Earle Douglas Pasquill, FIC Real Estate Projects Ltd., FIC Foreclosure Fund Ltd., WBIC Canada Ltd., or 2012 BCSECCOM 66 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).
For media enquiries, contact Richard Gilhooley, media relations, 604-899-6713. For public enquiries, call 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