BCSC bans convicted fraudster from investment market
Vancouver – The B.C. Securities Commission (BCSC) has permanently banned a convicted fraudster from participating in B.C.’s investment market.
Christopher Uitvlugt, whose last known residence was in Saanichton, B.C., pleaded guilty in Ontario in 2018 to one count of fraud over $5,000, one count of possession of property obtained by crime, and one count of conspiracy to commit fraud in relation to his role as CEO of Next Level Investments.
An Ontario incorporated company, Next Level offered investors the opportunity to make a 550 percent rate of return on three-month term investments. These profits were supposed to be gained through Uitvlugt’s foreign exchange trading.
Instead, it was a Ponzi scheme. Of the $4.8 million invested by 874 people, only about $24,000 was used for foreign exchange trades. The remainder was used to pay out investors and for personal expenses such as Lamborghini and Audi vehicles.
Most of the investors received nothing back on their investments. Police were able to restrain or recover about $2.2 million. Uitvlugt was sentenced to five years in jail, and was subject to a forfeiture order.
“The size and scope of Mr. Uitvlugt’s misconduct demonstrates that he is a significant risk to the public and the capital markets,” the panel said. “We find that he is unfit to participate in the capital markets of British Columbia and that permanent prohibitions are warranted.”
Although the BCSC provided Uitvlugt the opportunity to be heard, he did not participate in the hearing.
The BCSC imposed sanctions on Uitvlugt under its authority to reciprocate orders by other securities regulators, self-regulatory organizations, exchanges or courts. The BCSC order bars him from:
- Trading in or purchasing any securities, derivatives, or registered accounts
- Becoming or acting as a director or officer of any issuer or registrant
- Becoming or acting as a registrant or promoter
- Advising or acting in a management or consultative capacity in the securities or derivatives markets
- Engaging in promotional activities by or on behalf of an issuer, security holder, party to a derivative, or a person that is reasonably expected to benefit from the promotion
- Engaging in promotional activities on his own behalf that would reasonably be expected to benefit him, and
- Relying on any exemptions of the Securities Act, the regulations or a decision.
About the B.C. Securities Commission (www.bcsc.bc.ca)
The B.C. 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
604-899-6854 or 1-800-373-6393 (toll free)
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