Investors in illegal real estate investment scheme to receive reimbursement
Vancouver – Investors defrauded by two sisters, Siu Mui "Debbie" Wong and Siu Kon "Bonnie" Soo, will get some money back as a result of efforts by the B.C. Securities Commission (BCSC).
MNP Ltd., a receiver appointed by the court at the request of the BCSC, will carry out a process to distribute approximately $2 million to investors in the scheme. Each investor will receive a pro-rated share (minus the fee for the receiver) based on the money they lost.
Investors can find out more about the claims process for this matter by visiting the receiver’s website.
The BCSC, during its investigation of the scheme, had issued a freeze order on the assets of Wong, Soo and their associated companies, including properties they owned in British Columbia.
In June 2016, a BCSC panel found that Wong and Soo committed fraud by:
- Misappropriating $1.2 million of investors' subscription proceeds
- Transferring joint venture units without consideration to the benefit of their husbands and adult children
- Inflating the purchase price of a property and lying about it to investors
- Using mortgage proceeds for purposes other than developing the property, and
- Withholding information about potential delays in developing the property from one investor
The panel also found that Wong, Soo and their companies, including Wheatland Industrial Park, illegally distributed securities by selling shares without a prospectus – a formal document providing important information a person should know before making an investment – and without a prospectus exemption.
Describing the impact of Wong and Soo's misconduct, the panel wrote, "Investors testified as to their mental anguish and increased financial burdens.”
The panel imposed $22 million in financial sanctions and permanently banned Wong and Soo from various market activities.
In 2017, the BCSC registered its sanctions with the B.C. Supreme Court and registered charges against Wong and Soo’s interests in various B.C. properties. Some investors also filed separate civil claims against Wong, Soo and their associated companies as the BCSC investigated and adjudicated the misconduct.
In 2019, the BCSC asked the court to appoint a receiver to “efficiently recover assets for the benefit of legitimate investors.” MNP, as receiver, obtained funds from accounts and took control of the properties frozen by the BCSC belonging to Wong, Soo and their associated companies. The properties were sold, and the proceeds constitute the bulk of the $2 million that will be distributed to investors.
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.
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