A Coquitlam man who promised investors a 25-per-cent return and then used their money to gamble has promised to repay them under a settlement with the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC).
Shayne William Sharma must also pay $25,000 to the BCSC after paying back the investors in full, and is permanently banned from the capital markets.
Sharma raised about $257,500 from 21 residents of B.C. from March 2014 to January 2015, telling them that he owned stock warrants – the right to buy shares at a certain price in the future – but needed money to exercise those warrants. He told the investors that he would then sell the shares at a premium and would return the investors’ money to them, plus 25 per cent, in 45 days.
In an attempt to delay payments to investors and to stop investors from making a complaint to the BCSC, Sharma presented investors with a forged letter on BCSC letterhead, purportedly signed by BCSC staff.
By using their money for gambling, Sharma perpetrated a fraud under B.C.’s Securities Act.
Sharma, who voluntarily began to repay investors before the BCSC’s involvement, admitted to perpetrating the misconduct to the BCSC. So far, he has paid back about $160,000.
Under the settlement, Sharma agreed to:
- Provide to BCSC staff a list of all investors, with contact information and amounts owed, whom he has not yet repaid
- Repay investors in full by January 2026, with a minimum of $9,650 to be paid in each six-month period from the date of the agreement
- Report to BCSC staff monthly – or at any other time that BCSC staff demand – about payments he has made to investors and to provide evidence of those payments
- Pay $25,000 to the BCSC.
The BCSC Executive Director ordered that if Sharma hasn’t fully repaid investors or otherwise defaults on his agreement, he will have to pay the BCSC $96,500, representing the amount he received from the misconduct. The Executive Director also permanently prohibited him from:
- Trading in or purchasing any securities or derivatives, except through a registered dealer
- Relying on exemptions in the Act, regulations or a decision
- Becoming or acting as a registrant or promoter
- Advising or otherwise acting in a management or consultative capacity in the securities or derivatives market
- Engaging in promotional activities on others’ behalf in the securities or derivatives market
- Engaging in promotional activities on his own behalf.