A British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) panel has imposed financial sanctions and market bans on a Surrey pastor, his son, a White Rock resident and three companies they controlled, after having found that they committed fraud against two people in a real estate-related investment scheme.
The pastor, Alan Braun, his son, Jerry Braun, Steven Maxwell (a.k.a. Steven Fassman), and the companies they controlled – Braun Developments (B.C.) Ltd., 8022275 Canada Inc. and 0985812 B.C. Ltd (d/b/a TerraCorp Investment Ltd.) – took $450,000 from two investors in three different transactions. They led the investors to believe that they were purchasing real estate investments in Edmonton that would yield very high returns in a short period. But the Brauns and Maxwell used the investors’ money for other purposes, including their own personal living expenses.
The panel ordered that Maxwell and Alan Braun pay $120,500 and $323,500, respectively, which are the amounts that they obtained from the fraud. The panel also ordered that Jerry Braun and Braun Developments be liable for approximately $157,000 of the $323,500 order made against Alan Braun.
In addition, the panel imposed administrative penalties of $450,000 against Alan Braun, $300,000 against Maxwell and $200,000 against Jerry Braun for their misconduct.
The panel also imposed bans on various market activities by the three men:
Alan Braun is permanently barred from acting as a company director or officer, working as a registrant or promoter, serving in a management or consultative capacity in the securities market, engaging in investor relations activities, relying on any of the Securities Act’s exemptions, and trading in or buying securities or exchange contracts (other than transactions for his own account through a registered dealer);
Jerry Braun is barred from the same activities for at least 15 years (with certain exceptions), a prohibition that would continue until his penalties are paid; and
Maxwell is permanently barred from acting as a company director or officer, working as a registrant or promoter, serving in a management or consultative capacity in the securities market, engaging in investor relations activities, relying on any of the Securities Act’s exemptions, and trading in or buying securities or exchange contracts.
The panel noted that the misconduct of all three men “was exacerbated by what can only be described as the predatory nature” of their dealings with one of the two investors, whom the panel described as a “vulnerable” investor. The panel also noted that the Brauns “preyed upon a shared spirituality with the investor.”
The panel permanently banned anyone from trading in the securities of the corporate respondents.
The sanctions decision can be found at www.bcsc.bc.ca, by typing Jerry Braun, Allan Braun, Steven Maxwell (a.k.a. Steven Fassman), Braun Developments, or 2018 BCSECCOM 332 in the search box.