B.C. residents hit with $956,000 in penalties for promoting fake gold-mining investments – by Joseph Ruttle (Vancouver Sun – March 5, 2023)


B.C. Securities Commission got a tip about a trio promoting the U.S. company, Massachusetts and Florida-based DFRF Enterprises, in 2015

An investment fraud investigation that began nearly a decade ago has led to fines totalling nearly $1 million against three B.C. residents.

The elaborate fraud — which promoted fake gold-mining operations in Africa and Brazil and promised hefty returns while claiming the investments were fully insured — was spearheaded by a Brazilian national living in Florida. It raised nearly $15 million from unwitting investors, including at least $1.5 million from 137 B.C. residents.

This week, the B.C. Securities Commission (BCSC) ordered Sabrina Ling Huei Wei to pay a $500,000 administrative penalty and another $90,000 to the BCSC, which is the amount she obtained from the scheme. Justin Colin Villarin must pay a $200,000 penalty and his $15,718 return from it; James Bernard Law is ordered to pay a $150,000 penalty.

Wei was banned for life from the B.C. investment market, while Villarin was banned for 25 years and Law for 20.

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