Surrey man Roberto Castano has been permanently banned from participating in securities transactions by a British Columbia Securities Commission panel related to a fraud that resulted in more than $1.5 million in losses for investors.
According to a BCSC press release, the commission uncovered a ponzi scheme in which Castano issued promissory notes and told investors their money would be used in stock market trades with a promised return of five per cent monthly.
“The BCSC found that he used some funds to pay interest and principal repayments to investors, and used other funds for personal expenses,” the press release states. “In addition to the fraud, Castano was not registered to trade securities, and distributed securities without a prospectus.”
The panel delivered its decision on Oct. 31, in Vancouver.
In 2016 Castano pleaded guilty in B.C. Supreme Court to one count of fraud over $5,000, against eight people, and received a 27-month prison sentence. He was also ordered to pay $1.5 million in restitution to seven investors.
Castano had raised $2,500,550 from investors.
A BCSC reciprocal order document states that the “extent of the fraud, including the amount lost by investors, the length of the time over which Castano perpetrated the fraud and the fact that he used his standing in the community to attract investors show that he poses a significant ongoing risk to investors and the capital markets in British Columbia.”