Business

Man who took advantage of senior banned from B.C.'s capital markets: panel

VANCOUVER — The B.C. Securities Commission has permanently banned one of the founders of a non-profit seniors' centre from British Columbia's capital markets for defrauding an elderly investor.

The commission says Tin Lau persuaded a volunteer at the centre to invest $50,000 in a facility in Richmond in 2013 but deposited the money into his own bank account to pay off personal debt.

It says Lau, who was responsible for the centre's day-to-day operations, told the elderly man that his investment would be used to buy and resell goods to low-income seniors.

A panel that heard the case for the commission found Lau presented the senior with bank documents written in English directing payment to his own account, but the investor neither reads nor speaks the language.

Lau has been ordered to pay the commission an administrative fine of $85,000 and just over $37,000 he illegally obtained from the investor, which, if paid, would be returned to the elderly man.

The commission calls fraud against a vulnerable senior particularly egregious and says the man who considered Lau a mentor received only $12,734 in interest and principle while the fraud was ongoing.