A former Burnaby insurance agent and his associate have been found guilty of obstructing justice for pressuring an investor to lie to a B.C. Securities Commission investigator about an investment in their company.
Hunter Wei-Shun Wang was a licensed insurance broker employed by FS Financial Strategies Inc., and Jing “Janet” Zhang was that company’s marketing director, according to a ruling by a B.C. Securities Commission panel Wednesday.
On March 29, 2014, the pair convinced a 28-year-old man living with his mom in Burnaby to invest $25,000 in the company.
They told him he would be guaranteed a 10% return for three years risk-free, according to the ruling.
“The moneys for his investment came from savings he built over a period of about nine years,” the ruling states. “During the relevant period, he was earning $75,000 annually.”
Three days later, however, the investor had regrets and asked for his money back.
While he was waiting for a response, his mother called the securities commission to complain about the investment.
After commission staff contacted Wang to investigate the mother’s complaint – Wang and Zhang met with the investor and his mother and told them the investment would only be refunded if the investor lied to the commission about it, according to the ruling.
Wang and Zhang then coached the investor to lie to a BCSC investigator by telling the investigator the concerns that prompted the complaint had been resolved.
“The coaching included role-playing where Wang pretended to be the investigator taking the investor’s call. The investor ultimately wrote down the script for the call,” the ruling states.
Wang and Zhang then listened in while the investor called the investigator and read out the false story, according to the ruling.
The investor and his mother then met Zhang at her personal bank branch, where she took out $25,000 and gave it to the investor to refund his investment.
A few weeks later, the company reimbursed Zhang for the payment.
After a hearing with dates in March and September, a three-person administrative panel of the securities commission found both Wang and Zhang were guilty of obstruction of justice under the Securities Act for coaching the investor to lie in an “attempt to prevent the commission from obtaining information, records or things that would assist them in pursuing an investigation into the complaint.”
The panel will impose sanctions after considering submissions from Wang, Zhang and BCSC staff.