BCSC panel fines former notary public $33 million and orders permanent market ban for fraud
Vancouver – A British Columbia Securities Commission panel has fined Rashida Samji $33 million for committing a $100 million fraud on at least 200 investors. The panel also ordered that Samji be permanently banned from participating in B.C.’s capital markets.
In July 2014, the panel found that between approximately 2003 and January 2012, Samji, a former notary public, perpetrated a fraud when she traded securities to 200 or more investors for proceeds of at least $100 million.
The panel determined that Samji ran a Ponzi scheme. She told investors that she would hold their money in trust, and that it would be used only to secure letters of comfort for the financing of a British Columbia winery. Investors were to earn fees for securing the letters of credit. None of this was true.
In its sanctions decision, the panel noted that, “Samji perpetrated a fraud each time she traded securities to an investor”, and that she breached securities laws “many times in her dealings with hundreds of clients”. Furthermore, the panel wrote, ‘The magnitude and duration of the fraudulent investment scheme and the number of investors affected justify a significant penalty”.
In addition to the $33 million fine, the panel ordered that Samji pay to the commission $10,811,799, the amount determined to be the difference between the monies deposited by the investors pursuant to the fraud, and the monies paid out to them.
The panel also ordered that Samji resign any position she holds as a director or officer of an issuer or registrant. She is permanently prohibited from trading in securities, purchasing securities or exchange contracts (with limited exceptions), and from becoming or acting as a director or officer of any issuer or registrant. She 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.
You may view the sanctions decision on our website www.bcsc.bc.ca by typing Rashida Samji, Rashida Samji Notary Corporation, Samji & Assoc. Holdings Inc., or 2015 BCSECCOM 29 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
- 30 -
Richard Gilhooley, Media Relations
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