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BCSC bans advisor who used clients’ funds to buy his wife a ring

par Andrew Rickard | December 02 2015 11:45AM

Rodney Wharram made off with more than $500,000 of investors' money, using some of it to buy an expensive ring for his wife. The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) has permanently banned him from the province's capital markets for fraud.

Earlier this year, a BCSC panel found that Wharram, operating in his own name and through West Karma Ltd. and the Falls Capital Corp., committed fraud when he siphoned more than $500,000 out of the Deercrest real estate construction project in Chilliwack. He used the money to pay for personal expenses, including a $24,000 ring for his wife.

The BCSC says that investor losses in this case were significant, and in its decision the regulator describes Wharram's fraudulent misconduct as "significant and repeatedly deceitful". In order to deter others from similar behavior, the BCSC says it has decided to impose a heavy administrative fine.

"Other market participants must know that significant financial sanctions will follow this type of misconduct." reads the notice. "The panel ordered that Wharram pay to the commission $517,500, the amount obtained as a result of his misconduct. Wharram, The Falls, Deercrest, and West Karma are jointly and severally liable for this amount. Wharram was also ordered to pay an administrative penalty of $500,000."

The BCSC panel also ordered Wharram to resign from any position he holds as a director or officer of any issuer or registrant, and permanently prohibited him from becoming or acting as a director or officer of any issuer or registrant.

"He is also permanently banned from trading or purchasing securities or exchange contracts, acting as a registrant or promoter, engaging in investor relations activities, and acting in a management or consultative capacity in connection with the securities market. The panel also ordered that the Falls, Deercrest, and West Karma be permanently cease-traded," says the regulator.

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