A British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) panel has temporarily banned a B.C. man and two companies from the securities market and has imposed monetary sanctions of $426,063 against them for facilitating trades in securities without being registered to do so under the Securities Act.
Chien-Hua Liu (a.k.a. William Liu) and the two companies he controlled, NuWealth Financial Group Inc. and CPFS Professional Financial Services Inc., made referrals of investors to an issuer and an exempt market dealer that ultimately led to 214 investments in securities totalling about $6.5 million. The referrals involved people from B.C. and Hong Kong between 2013 and 2016.
Liu and the companies steered customers to an exempt market dealer who offered the investors securities of one of its affiliates, and to an issuer involved in an early-stage real estate development project in Fort McMurray, Alta.
Liu and his companies received large commissions for the referrals which were tied to the purchase of specific securities.
Liu and NuWealth are prohibited for two years and CFPS for one year from the following activities:
- Trading in or purchasing securities or exchange contracts (with limited exceptions for Liu's personal account);
- Relying on any exemptions of the Securities Act;
- Becoming or acting as a director or officer of a registrant or promoter;
- Acting in a management or consultative capacity in the securities market;
- Engaging in investor relations activity.
Liu and NuWealth were ordered to pay $326,063, representing the amount in commissions they earned without being registered. In addition, Liu, NuWealth and CPFS were ordered to pay $100,000 in administrative penalties.
In a dissenting decision on the $326,063 monetary sanction related to the commissions paid to Liu and NuWealth, BCSC vice-chair Nigel Cave said he would not, in the public interest, have included that in the orders.