The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) announced Feb. 19 that a BCSC panel has imposed financial sanctions and market bans on a Surrey pastor, his son, a White Rock resident and three companies they controlled. They were found to have committed fraud against two people in a real estate-related investment scheme.
The pastor, Alan Braun, his son, Jerry Braun, Steven Maxwell (a.k.a. Steven Fassman), and the companies they controlled – Braun Developments (B.C.) Ltd., 8022275 Canada Inc. and 0985812 B.C. Ltd (dba TerraCorp Investment Ltd.) – took $450,000 from two investors in three different transactions, said the BCSC in a statement. “They led the investors to believe that they were purchasing real estate investments in Edmonton that would yield very high returns in a short period. But the Brauns and Maxwell used the investors' money for other purposes, including their own personal living expenses.”
The panel ordered that Maxwell and Alan Braun pay $120,500 and $323,500, respectively, which are the amounts that they obtained from the fraud. The panel also ordered that Jerry Braun and Braun Developments be liable for approximately $157,000 of the $323,500 order made against Alan Braun.
In addition, the panel imposed administrative penalties of $450,000 against Alan Braun, $300,000 against Maxwell and $200,000 against Jerry Braun for their misconduct. The panel also imposed bans on various market activities by the three men.
Preyed upon shared spirituality
The panel stated that the misconduct of all three men "was exacerbated by what can only be described as the predatory nature" of their dealings with one of the two investors, whom the panel described as a "vulnerable" investor. The panel also noted that the Brauns "preyed upon a shared spirituality with the investor."
The panel permanently banned anyone from trading in the securities of the corporate respondents.