AYAZ Dhanani, 38, of Vancouver has been sentenced in Vancouver Provincial Court to a total of 36 months in jail for selling fraudulent investments and other securities-related crimes, the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) announced on Friday.
Dhanani also was ordered by the court to pay a total of $194,568 in restitution to five victims, and he will be on probation for a total of 36 months upon his release from prison. He was also ordered to provide a sample of his DNA.
Dhanani pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud over $5,000, and three offences under the BC Securities Act: disobeying a BCSC order against trading, failing to file a prospectus (a formal document that provides details of an investment) and misleading investors.
The charges followed a series of investigations by the BCSC’s Criminal Investigations Branch in relation to four of the victims.
Dhanani pleaded guilty in August to fraudulently soliciting a total of $153,800 in investments from three B.C. residents, and received a 23-month jail sentence for those offences in October.
He also pleaded guilty in October to another fraud over $5,000 in relation to a fourth B.C. resident, and to three Securities Act offences relating to his obtaining funds for an investment from a fifth B.C. resident. This week, he received a further 13 months in jail for those offences.
“Dhanani preyed upon people’s lack of knowledge about investments,” said Peter Brady, BCSC’s Executive Director. “He made promises about businesses or opportunities that simply did not exist.”
The BCSC previously sanctioned Dhanani for fraud under the Securities Act. In 2016, the commission ordered Dhanani to pay an administrative penalty of $225,000. It also permanently prohibited him from trading or purchasing securities or exchange contracts; becoming or acting as a director or officer of any issuer or registrant; becoming or acting as a registrant or promoter; acting in a management or consultative capacity in connection with activities in the securities market; and engaging in investor relations activities.
In 2017, the BCSC recovered $120,000 provided to Dhanani for investment, and distributed that to the three victims involved in the administrative proceeding.