When the BCSC decides that a scam is of a sufficient size and scope, it warns the public through an Investor Alert and then sets up the Investor Communications Services Centre (ICSC).
Active ICSC webpages:
Master Benefit Card: On July 20, 2012, the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) issued an Investor Alert warning people about Master Benefit Card Canada Ltd. and its affiliates. For a webpage containing related material on the case click here.
Rashida Samji and Arvindbhai B. Patel: The BCSC has issued a notice of hearing against Rashida Samji and settled with Arvindbhai B. Patel (also known as Arvin Patel) in regards to their involvement in an investment scheme. For a webpage containing related material on the case click here
How the ICSC works
The ICSC disseminates information to the public, informs investors, and encourages reporting to a centralized place.
The BCSC enforcement division investigates inquiries and tips about potential scams. When they decide to notify the public, the BCSC issues an Investor Alert that announces the set up of the ICSC. After the announcement, the BCSC sets up a webpage. It may also set up up telephone lines in multiple languages for the public to call.
The ICSC’s goals are to:
- Deliver a coordinated, quick response to inform investors and the public about a scheme
- Minimize investor confusion about where to find the information they need to report and follow the investigation
- Speed up the investigation by having the public provide leads
- Facilitate support for victims from other agencies
- Provide relevant information about the case on an ongoing basis
How the ICSC works
The BCSC enforcement division investigates inquiries and tips about potential scams. When they decide, together with police or other enforcement agencies, to notify the public, the BCSC issues an Investor Alert that announces the set up of the ICSC. Depending on the scope of the case, the BCSC may set up telephone lines in multiple languages for the public to contact, or create a website where the public can stay up to date on any developments in the case and report any information they have.
Past ICSC Examples:
Sung Wan (Sean) Kim case: On October 13, 2009, Sung Wan (Sean) Kim, a director and salesperson at Cirplus Futures Inc., was the subject of an Investor Alert. Immediately following the alert, the BCSC activated the ICSC, opening a dedicated Korean-language phone line and publishing a dedicated webpage to inform investors and encourage reporting. To see the page, click here.
Genius Funds: After receiving a tip from a financial institution in early February 2010, the BCSC executive director immediately stopped Genius Funds, also known as Genius Investments, from selling its securities until a hearing was held. The BCSC’s ICSC set up a webpage dedicated to the case and alerted investors through blogging and social media outreach. In April 2010, a BCSC panel permanently banned Genius Funds for illegally selling securities through its website and for offering investors a rate of return so high it could not be earned through legal means. To see the page, click here.