VANCOUVER, April 4, 2012 /CNW/ - In a settlement agreement with the British Columbia Securities Commission, a former mutual fund salesperson and financial planner with Coast Capital Savings has received a permanent market ban in B.C. for his role in a Notary Trust Fund Investment.
The settlement agreement states that Arvindbhai Bakorbhai Patel (aka Arvin Patel), a Vancouver resident, breached securities laws when he engaged in multiple illegal distributions, conducted trades outside of his registration, and made numerous statements to investors that he ought to have known were false between at least 2006 and January 2012. Patel admitted that during this period, he introduced approximately 90 investors to an investment opportunity through Rashida Samji, then a notary public in B.C.
Many of the investors were Patel's family, coworkers, and Coast Capital clients.
Collectively, they invested approximately $28.9 million, of which a substantial portion is now lost.
In the settlement agreement, Patel stated that investors would provide their funds to Samji and sign a letter of direction. Patel admitted that he told investors the following and ought to have known these statements were false:
- Investors' money would be safely held in Samji's notary trust account, and would not be paid out to any party. Samji's trust account was monitored and audited by the Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia.
- Samji would provide the owner of a B.C. winery, the Mark Anthony Group Inc, and other wineries with a comfort letter that would allow the wineries to use the funds (without accessing them) as collateral for loans in foreign countries.
- Investors were required to deposit funds for terms of at least six months, and earned interest-like guaranteed returns (described as fees) of 6% every six months, or 12% per year. At the end of the six-month period, investors could choose to withdraw from the investment, or sign a new letter of direction with Samji.
Patel knew his clients were relying on him to provide investment and financial guidance, and yet he introduced them to the Notary Trust Fund Investment with little to no due diligence of his own, except for his own experience as an investor.
Furthermore, as a registered mutual fund salesperson, Patel was restricted to trading in mutual funds and certain labour-sponsored investment funds, unless he had an exemption under the Securities Act from registration and prospectus requirements. For at least 80 of the investors, who collectively invested approximately $25,300,000, no such exemption was available.
For his misconduct, Patel is permanently banned from trading securities or exchange contracts, except in accounts in his own name; prohibited from acting as a director or officer of any company or registrant; acting as a registrant or promoter; acting in a management or consultative capacity in connection with the securities industry; and, engaging in investor relations activities.
Patel has voluntarily transferred his legal and beneficial interest in five properties to the receiver which the BCSC applied for and was appointed by the Supreme Court of British Columbia (his remaining assets remain subject to a freeze order). Patel is 58, unemployed, has substantial liabilities, and is a defendant in multiple civil actions by investors. Consequently, he has no reasonable prospect of being able to pay the multi-million dollar fine that would otherwise have been levied against him for his misconduct.
The B.C. Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating trading in securities within the province. You may view the notice of hearing on our website www.bcsc.bc.ca by typing Arvindbhai Bakorbhai Patel, Arvin Patel or 2012 BCSECCOM 106 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).
Learn how to protect yourself and become a more informed investor at www.investright.org
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