Ian Thow fined $6 million and banned from B.C.'s capital markets for life



    VANCOUVER, Dec. 21 /CNW/ - A British Columbia Securities Commission panel
has used recent legislative amendments for the first time to fine Ian Gregory
Thow, a former mutual fund salesperson with Berkshire Investment Group Inc.,
$6 million. The panel also banned Thow permanently from participating in the
province's capital markets.
    On Oct. 16, 2007, the panel found that Thow perpetrated a fraud, made
misrepresentations, traded in securities without being registered, and failed
to deal fairly, honestly and in good faith with his clients when he took
millions of dollars from them to invest in securities that did not exist.
    Thow used the clients' money to buy personal items, including luxury
cars, a yacht, and a personal business jet. He also paid off business loans,
and paid other business expenses. His clients lost about $6 million.
    "This case represents one of the most callous and audacious frauds this
province has seen," the panel said in its October findings.
    After receiving submissions, the panel chose to apply recent legislative
changes to the Securities Act sanction provisions. The changes, which came
into effect in 2006 and 2007, increased the maximum administrative penalties
for contraventions of the Act, and added new powers for issuing administrative
orders.
    "Through his serious misconduct, Thow significantly harmed investors as
described in the Findings and damaged the integrity of British Columbia's
capital markets," the panel said in its decision on sanctions. "Thow's conduct
shows he is not fit to participate in our capital markets. We must also make
orders that will demonstrate the consequences of his conduct, and that will
have an appropriate deterrent effect."
    In addition to the $6 million administrative penalty, the panel ordered
Thow permanently banned from trading securities or exchange contracts and from
being a manager or consultant in connection the securities market. Thow is
also prohibited from being a director or officer of any issuer, registrant or
investment fund manager, being a registrant, investment fund manager or
promoter, and from engaging in investor relations activities.
    The B.C. Securities Commission is the independent provincial government
agency responsible for regulating trading in securities within the province.
You may view the decision on our website www.bcsc.bc.ca by typing in the
search box, Ian Gregory Thow or 2007 BCSECCOM 758. If you have questions,
contact Ken Gracey, Media Relations, 604-899-6577.

    Learn how to avoid investment fraud at the BCSC's investor education
website: www.investright.org.





For further information:

For further information: Ken Gracey, (604) 899-6577 or (B.C. & Alberta)
1-800-373-6393


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