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B.C. victim of Ponzi scheme says more needs to be done punish fraudsters

WATCH: Scores of B.C. investors – many of them from the same church – have lost millions in an apparent Ponzi scheme. The woman they hold responsible still attends that church and as Grace Ke reports, this case is a real warning to others who may be promised unusually large returns on their investments. Grace Ke reports.

The victim of a Ponzi scheme says a West Vancouver woman who allegedly cheated investors out of tens of millions of dollars has not received a “fair punishment.”

LISTEN: Peter Doetsch joins Jill Bennett to talk about his situation

Businessman Peter Doetsch alleges he was one of many who invested with Victoria Tan and lost all of their money.

“So the B.C. Securities investigated her, and issued a settlement agreement. In this agreement B.C. Securities Commissions states that Virginia Tan committed fraud, and she accepted that she did so,” said Doetsch.

READ MORE: Former notary who masterminded Ponzi scheme to steal millions gets 6 years in prison

He was hoping that the $3-million fine given to her would allow him to open an investigation into fraud and press criminal charges against her. But Doetsch said he was surprised when he was told by the commission that its investigations couldn’t be used towards criminal investigations.

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“I learned that the B.C. Securities Commission follows an internal administrative process, and not a criminal process, so as such, no information from the agreement can be used in any other proceedings.”

WATCH: B.C. woman convicted of running $110-million Ponzi scheme wins right to appeal case

B.C. woman convicted of running a $110-million ponzi scheme wins right to appeal the case
B.C. woman convicted of running a $110-million ponzi scheme wins right to appeal the case

He said police informed him there was nothing they could do without more information on the case.

“This is completely useless. The guy who got protected in this is neither the public nor the investors. [The person] who got protected is the fraudster.”

READ MORE: Coquitlam B.C. Mounties issue warning about illegal ‘Gifting Circle’ scam

According to Doetsch, the securities commission won’t collect the $3-million Tan was fined until all investors have been paid back the $30-$40 million they originally invested.

“With this ruling, the fraudster completely gets off the hook – completely. The fine needs to be paid only after all the investors get their money back,” said Doetsch.

READ MORE: Okanagan man sent to prison for ripping off investors in Ponzi scheme

In an email, the BCSC said it “vigorously pursues all cost-effective avenues to identify assets, seize collectability, and then seize or sell assets and garnish income.”

But the BCSC said collecting sanctions is difficult, as respondents often have limited or no assets.

“In many cases, investors’ money has already been spent by the time the BCSC issues monetary orders,” read the email, adding that recovering sanctions from fraudsters – given the “methods they use to perpetrate misconduct” – is challenging.

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