British Columbia Securities Commission

British Columbia Securities Commission

December 21, 2007 14:00 ET

British Columbia Securities Commission: Ian Thow Fined $6 Million and Banned From B.C.'S Capital Markets for Life

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 21, 2007) - A British Columbia Securities Commission panel has used recent legislative amendments for the first time to fine Ian Gregory Thow, a former mutual fund salesperson with Berkshire Investment Group Inc., $6 million. The panel also banned Thow permanently from participating in the province's capital markets.

On Oct. 16, 2007, the panel found that Thow perpetrated a fraud, made misrepresentations, traded in securities without being registered, and failed to deal fairly, honestly and in good faith with his clients when he took millions of dollars from them to invest in securities that did not exist.

Thow used the clients' money to buy personal items, including luxury cars, a yacht, and a personal business jet. He also paid off business loans, and paid other business expenses. His clients lost about $6 million.

"This case represents one of the most callous and audacious frauds this province has seen," the panel said in its October findings.

After receiving submissions, the panel chose to apply recent legislative changes to the Securities Act sanction provisions. The changes, which came into effect in 2006 and 2007, increased the maximum administrative penalties for contraventions of the Act, and added new powers for issuing administrative orders.

"Through his serious misconduct, Thow significantly harmed investors as described in the Findings and damaged the integrity of British Columbia's capital markets," the panel said in its decision on sanctions. "Thow's conduct shows he is not fit to participate in our capital markets. We must also make orders that will demonstrate the consequences of his conduct, and that will have an appropriate deterrent effect."

In addition to the $6 million administrative penalty, the panel ordered Thow permanently banned from trading securities or exchange contracts and from being a manager or consultant in connection the securities market. Thow is also prohibited from being a director or officer of any issuer, registrant or investment fund manager, being a registrant, investment fund manager or promoter, and from engaging in investor relations activities.

The B.C. Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating trading in securities within the province. You may view the decision on our website by typing in the search box, Ian Gregory Thow or 2007 BCSECCOM 758. If you have questions, contact Ken Gracey, Media Relations, 604-899-6577.

Learn how to avoid investment fraud at the BCSC's investor education website:

Contact Information

  • British Columbia Securities Commission
    Ken Gracey
    (604) 899-6577 or (B.C. & Alberta) 1-800-373-6393