B.C. insurance group allegedly defrauded investors of $47 million
Directors 'created an illusion of profitability' by opening new offices, hosting parties
The British Columbia Securities Commission is alleging that three top officers of a once growing insurance group fraudulently raised over $47 million from hundreds of investors.
The BCSC alleges that between 2012 and 2017, Aik Guan "Frankie" Lim and Scott Thomas Low, the directors and founders of FS Financial Strategies Inc. and related companies in the FS insurance group, failed to disclose the company's deteriorating financial situation and used investor money to cover its expenses.
Darrell Wayne Wiebe, the company's general manager, was allegedly aware of the insurance group's finances and advised Lim and Low on how much investor money was needed to stay afloat.
According to the commission, investors were promised interest payments of 10 to 12 percent, payable monthly.
Lim and Low "created an illusion of profitability" by paying investors monthly returns, opening new offices, donating to charities, hosting expensive parties and telling customers they planned to take the company public.
The BCSC also alleges that Lim and Low violated the B.C. Securites Act by continuing to trade and sell securities after making a legal promise to stop in 2014.
Six additional people appointed as directors of related companies — Chun Ying "Jim" Pan, Chung-Sheng "Johnson" Kao, George Lay, Gagan Deep Bachra, Chi Kay "Dixon" Wong and Meng Cher "Philip" Tsai — are alleged to have sold unsecured loans.
All nine individuals named in the notice are set to appear before the commission at a hearing on Dec. 4.