Vancouver – A British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) panel has banned Roberto Castano from any involvement in securities transactions in response to a fraud that caused over $1.5 million of investor losses.
An investigation by the BCSC uncovered a Ponzi scheme, orchestrated by Castano, in which he issued promissory notes, told investors their money would be used in stock market trades, and promised returns of 5 per cent monthly. The BCSC found that he used some funds to pay interest and principal repayments to investors, and used other funds for personal expenses. In addition to the fraud, Castano was not registered to trade securities, and distributed securities without a prospectus.
Castano pleaded guilty in B.C. Supreme Court in 2016 to one count of fraud over $5,000 against eight people, and was sentenced to 27 months in prison. Castano also was ordered to pay seven investors approximately $1.5 million in restitution.
This week’s order by the BCSC panel requires that Castano resign from any position he holds as a director or officer of an issuer or registrant, and bars him from holding any such positions in the future. It also prohibits him from trading in or purchasing any securities or exchange contracts; managing or consulting in the securities markets; and engaging in investor relations activities.
In a separate case, a BCSC panel barred ShariffChandran from the capital markets, in response to a finding by the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) that he had perpetrated a fraud involving various real estate projects.
The ASC found in 2014 that Chandran was the guiding mind behind a company that raised over $58 million from investors, including one in British Columbia. All but one of the projects failed and most of the investors lost their money. The ASC said Chandran misled investors and engaged in illegal trades and distributions.
The BCSC’s order requires that Chandran resign from any position he holds as a director or officer of an issuer or registrant, and bars him from holding any such positions in the future. He also is prohibited from trading in or purchasing any securities or exchange contracts, and from managing or consulting in the securities markets.
For more information on these orders, use the search box on www.bcsc.bc.ca to search for Roberto Castano or 2018 BCSECCOM 338, or Shariff Chandran or 2018 BCSECCOM 339.
The Canadian Securities Administrators maintains national databases for disciplined persons and firms and cease trade orders. These databases include all persons in Canada disciplined for securities trading offences.
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