Regulators in British Columbia have won the first round of their bid to enforce sanctions ordered by a hearing panel against a man who has since moved to the U.S.
The B.C. Securities Commission (BCSC) reported that a Nevada court has granted the regulator an order seeking to enforce the $21.7 million in disgorgement that a BCSC hearing panel ordered against former Vancouver resident Michael Lathigee after it found that he defrauded almost 700 investors back in 2008.
The commission said the court’s order represents “the first time a U.S. court has recognized a BCSC order for someone to repay ill-gotten gains.”
In 2014, a BCSC hearing panel ordered that Lathigee return $21.7 million that was fraudulently raised from investors to invest in a group of companies that he controlled called the Freedom Investment Club (FIC Group). The panel also imposed a $15 million fine and permanent bans.
Lathigee has since moved to Las Vegas, the BCSC noted.
“This decision sends a strong message that people can’t just leave the country to avoid the consequences of their wrongdoing,” Doug Muir, director of enforcement at the BCSC, said in a statement.
However, the BCSC also noted that Lathigee is appealing the decision.
“The BCSC is working with legal counsel to determine its next steps,” the regulator said.