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The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has permanently banned Christopher Uitvlugt, the former operator of Next Level Capital Group, an unregistered foreign exchange trading firm based in Kingston, Ont.

The ban follows his 2019 conviction on a count of fraud over $5,000 in Ontario. In January of this year, the Alberta Securities Commission also permanently banned Uitvlugt from its markets on the basis of his fraud conviction, noting that at least 10 of his victims were from Alberta, where he used to live.

According to allegations made by the OSC in April, Uitvlugt admitted to taking approximately $4.8 million from investors with promises that he’d trade their funds in the forex markets and split the profits. In fact, only about $24,000 was used to trade, and those trades lost $5,000.

Instead, investors’ money was used to finance the scheme and to fund Uitvlugt’s lifestyle, the OSC alleged. “Uitvlugt used investor funds to pay for his personal expenses and to fund his lifestyle including his Lamborghini and Audi vehicles and for Next Level expenses,” the OSC said in its allegations.

Also, police found that “Next Level was a Ponzi scheme whereby new investor funds were clearly utilized to pay out earlier investors,” the OSC said.

In the decision released by the OSC’s Capital Markets Tribunal, the adjudicator stated that a permanent ban would be in the public interest to both protect investors and deter future misconduct.

No submission to the tribunal was made by or on behalf of Uitvlugt, who is currently serving a five-year jail sentence.