A Toronto financial adviser charged with defrauding about 100 investors in Canada, the United States and China of some $30 million through a Ponzi scheme was denied bail Thursday.
Weizhen Tang, who is charged with fraud over $5,000, voluntarily returned to Canada last week from China and has been in Toronto’s Don Jail awaiting his bail hearing.
“I was hoping Mr. Tang would get out and I felt that all the purposes of justice would be served by judicial release at this time,” defence lawyer Loftus Cuddy said outside the court.
“But Mr. Tang and I completely accept and respect the processes that are in place.”
However, Cuddy and his client are not giving up on getting Tang out of jail. The lawyer said he would “take advantage of every opportunity to obtain the judicial release that we think is appropriate.”
Tang was led into court Thursday with his hands cuffed behind his back. The handcuffs were removed when he entered the prisoner’s box, wearing a neatly pressed jacket and a crisp shirt.
Tang’s wife, Hong Xiao, also attended court and left looking upset after he was denied bail.
The reasons for denying Tang bail and the evidence heard during the hearing were placed under a publication ban Thursday.
Cuddy said he would find out Monday where Tang would be imprisoned during the time leading up to the trial.
Toronto police say alleged victims have been located in the United States and China as well as Canada.
Tang is accused of using his hedge fund, the Oversea Chinese Fund Limited Partnership, to defraud investors between January 2006 and March 2009.
A Canada-wide arrest warrant was issued for Tang on Jan. 6 when he didn’t return to Canada from China on Dec. 29 as arranged.
Well known in Toronto’s Chinese community, Tang returned voluntarily from Shanghai Jan. 13.
Tang, who called himself the Chinese Warren Buffett, has said he’s innocent of the charges.
He also faces trial April 19 on 12 counts of breaching the Securities Act that were laid last June by the Ontario Securities Commission in connection with the Oversea Chinese Fund Limited Partnership.
Last April, a U.S. federal judge granted emergency relief for U.S. investors, freezing the assets of Tang and several of his businesses and appointed a receiver to take control of those assets.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleges Tang told investors of the Ponzi scheme in a letter in February 2009.