The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) announced May 22 that it has won a victory in a Nevada court this week to enforce a $21.7-million order against fraudster Michael Lathigee.
The BCSC pointed out that this is the first time a U.S. court has recognized a BCSC order “for someone to repay ill-gotten gains.”
In 2014, a BCSC panel found that Lathigee, a former Vancouver resident who moved to Las Vegas, fraudulently raised millions of dollars from investors without telling them about the financial condition of companies he controlled. He also used the money to make loans to related companies, instead of investing the funds in foreclosures of residential properties, says the regulator.
In addition to a $15 million administrative penalty and a permanent ban from trading in securities in B.C., the panel ordered Lathigee to pay $21.7 million, representing the amount of money he and Earle Douglas Pasquill obtained from their misconduct.
"We've done everything in our power to collect from Michael Lathigee, because if we collect, we can return money to his victims," said Doug Muir, the BCSC's Director of Enforcement. "This decision sends a strong message that people can't just leave the country to avoid the consequences of their wrongdoing."
In making the order, the Nevada court stated it is "critically important that we maintain our good relations and ties with Canada" by honouring attempts to compensate the victims of securities fraud.
Lathigee has appealed last week's decision to the Supreme Court of Nevada. The BCSC say it is is working with legal counsel to determine its next steps.