BCSC panel issues lifetime ban against B.C. man for fraud

VANCOUVER, Nov. 30, 2015 /CNW/ - A British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) panel has fined and permanently banned Rodney James Wharram from the province's capital markets for fraud.  

In February 2015, the panel found that Wharram, West Karma Ltd. and the Falls Capital Corp. committed fraud when they took $139,000 from Falls Capital, deposited it with West Karma, and then used it for Wharram's personal expenses. The panel also found that Wharram, West Karma and Deercrest Construction Fund Inc. committed fraud when they took $130,000 from Deercrest, deposited it with West Karma, and then used it for Wharram's personal expenses. Wharram and Deercrest were found to have committed fraud when they took $265,000 directly from Deercrest's bank accounts and used it for Wharram's personal expenses. Wharram, the Falls, and Deercrest had originally raised the money taken by Wharram from investors for the purposes of developing a real estate project near Chilliwack, B.C.

Writing about the need for a significant fine for the purposes of deterrence, the panel wrote:

In this case, the investor losses were significant. Wharram's fraudulent misconduct was significant and repeatedly deceitful. As a consequence, it is necessary, for deterrence purposes, to order a significant administrative fine. Other market participants must know that significant financial sanctions will follow this type of misconduct.

The panel ordered that Wharram pay to the commission $517,500, the amount obtained a result of his misconduct. Wharram, The Falls, Deercrest, and West Karma are jointly and severally liable for this amount. Wharram was also ordered to pay an administrative penalty of $500,000.

The panel ordered that Wharram resign any position he holds as a director or officer of any issuer or registrant, and he is permanently prohibited from becoming or acting as a director or officer of any issuer or registrant. He is also permanently banned from trading or purchasing securities or exchange contracts, acting as a registrant or promoter, engaging in investor relations activities, and acting in a management or consultative capacity in connection with the securities market. The panel also ordered that the Falls, Deercrest, and West Karma be permanently cease-traded.

You may view the sanctions decision on our website (www.bcsc.bc.ca) by typing Rodney Jack Wharram, The Falls Capital Corp., Deercrest Construction Fund Inc., West Karma Ltd., or 2015 BCSECCOM 422 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

SOURCE British Columbia Securities Commission

For further information: Media Contact: Richard Gilhooley, Media Relations, 604-899-6713; Public inquiries: 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


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