VANCOUVER, April 19, 2021 /CNW/ - A British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) panel has imposed a total of $70,000 in financial sanctions on a marketing director and her colleague at FS Financial Strategies Inc. (FS) for coaching an investor to lie to a BCSC investigator.
In December 2020, the panel found that both Jing "Janet" Zhang and Hunter Wei-Shun Wang (a.k.a. Hunter Wei Shun Wang) obstructed justice by concealing or withholding, or attempting to conceal or withhold, information that was reasonably required for an investigation under the Securities Act.
As a result of their misconduct, Zhang, the company's marketing director, has been ordered to pay $40,000, and lead strategist Wang must pay $30,000.
In addition to the financial sanctions, Zhang is prohibited for three years and Wang is prohibited for two years from:
being a director or officer of any issuer or registrant
being or acting as a registrant or promoter
acting in a management or consultative capacity in connection with the securities market
and engaging in promotional activities.
In 2014, Zhang introduced a B.C. man to an investment at FS and Wang assisted Zhang in the process of documenting the investment. The investor initially invested $25,000 on the premise that he would be guaranteed a 10 per cent return for three years, risk-free.
However, he asked for his money back a few days later, saying he regretted making the investment. While waiting for a response, the investor's mother complained to the BCSC about the investment. Zhang said that the "the refund would depend on how the investor and his mother handled the matter with the [BCSC]."
Wang and Zhang then coached the investor to lie to a BCSC investigator by telling the investigator that the concerns that prompted the complaint had been resolved. The coaching included role-playing in which Wang pretended to be the investigator taking the investor's call.
After rehearsing the call repeatedly, Wang and Zhang listened in while the investor called the investigator and read the script with the false story. The panel found that "this fabrication was clearly an attempt to cause the investigator to stop pursuing investigation of the complaint."
After the call, the investor and his mother went with Zhang to her personal bank, where she withdrew $25,000 and gave it to the investor. A few weeks later, FS reimbursed Zhang for that payment.
In a dissenting decision, panel member Deborah Armour, Q.C., found that Wang's status as an insurance licensee at the time of the misconduct was an aggravating factor that should warrant him receiving the same financial sanctions and market prohibitions as Zhang.
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
View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/April2021/19/c6404.html