VANCOUVER, Aug. 18, 2016 /CNW/ - The B.C. Supreme Court has sentenced Roberto Castano of Surrey, B.C. to 27 months in prison for fraud. Earlier this year, Castano plead guilty to one count of fraud over $5,000 against eight victims. Charges against Mr. Castano were approved by the Criminal Justice Branch following a British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) criminal investigation.
The BCSC launched its investigation into Castano in September 2009, following a tip from a financial institution (FI). According to the FI, Castano was raising money from investors through his company, Skyline Communications, and investing that money in the stock market through a brokerage account.
The investigation uncovered that Castano was operating a Ponzi scheme. He issued promissory notes, told investors their money would be used to trade in the stock market, and promised returns of five per cent per month. The BCSC found that Castano did not use all of the investors' money for its intended purpose; instead, he used some funds to pay interest and principal repayments to investors and used other funds for personal expenses.
On March 30, 2012, Crown approved charges of theft and fraud, and on February 18, 2016, Castano entered his guilty plea.
On August 16, 2016, Castano was sentenced to 27 months imprisonment and ordered to pay seven investors approximately $1.5 million in restitution.
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
Learn how to protect yourself and become a more informed investor at www.investright.org
SOURCE British Columbia Securities Commission
For further information: Media Contact: Alison Walker, British Columbia Securities Commission, 604-899-6713; Public inquiries: 604-899-6854 or 1-800-373-6393 (toll free), [email protected]