B.C. Securities Commission finds Vancouver woman who ran a Ponzi scheme committed $100 million fraud

Published: July 22, 2014
Rashida Samji

BC Securities Commission has found that Rashida Samji commited $100 million fraud. Submitted Photo

ALMAS MEHERALLY
VANCOUVER DESI

VANCOUVER – A B.C. Securities Commission panel has found that a Vancouver woman and two companies she controlled committed a $100-million fraud.

The panel found that between 2003 and January 2012, Rashida Samji, a former notary public, perpetrated a fraud when she traded securities in a Ponzi scheme to at least 200 investors for about $100 million, said a BCSC press release.

“For the purposes of these Findings, we find that the evidence establishes, clearly, convincingly, and cogently, that Samji took not less than $100 million from over 200 investors,” the panel said.

Samji told investors that she would hold their money in trust and that it would be used only to secure letters of comfort for the financing of a B.C. winery, said the BCSC release, adding that investors were to earn fees for securing the letters of credit.

Instead, the panel found, the so-called investment was “one big lie” and “a monumental deceit” — there was no winery, no letters of comfort, nor any fees.

“Samji used investors’ funds to pay other investors in order to keep the scheme going. She also used investors’ funds for her own purposes,” the panel said.

“All of the investors’ money Samji took she put at risk. The investment scheme was a sham. There were no fees from third parties to fund the promised returns.

“Moreover, as in all Ponzi schemes, it is certain that some investors will lose all of their investment,” the panel said in its findings.

Many investors may see some return of funds through the civil proceedings, but the evidence shows that this group will also suffer significant losses, the panel said.

“None will ever see the returns they were promised,” it said.

The panel directed the parties to make submissions on the sanctions in August.

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BCSC Samji findings: 2014 BCSECCOM 286 by almas2205

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