BC fraudster faces 27-month prison sentence

BC fraudster faces 27-month prison sentence

BC fraudster faces 27-month prison sentence The BC Supreme Court has issued a 27-month prison sentence to Robert Castano of Surrey, BC for fraud.

Earlier this year, Castano pleaded guilty to one count of fraud over $5,000 against eight victims. Charges against him were approved by the Criminal Justice Branch following a British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) criminal investigation.

The BCSC investigation of Castano’s activities was launched in September 2009, following a tip from an unnamed financial institution. The financial institution said he was raising money from investors through his company, Skyline Communications, and investing that money in the stock market through a brokerage account.

The investigation revealed that Castano was running a Ponzi scheme. He issued promissory notes, told investors their money would be used to trade in the stock market, and promised returns of five per cent per month. He did not use all of the investors’ money for its intended purpose, the investigation found; instead, he used some funds to pay interest and principal repayments to investors and used other funds for personal expenses.

Crown approved charges of theft and fraud on March 30, 2012. Castano entered his guilty plea on February 18 this year.

On August 16, Castano was sentenced to 27 months in prison and ordered to pay seven investors some $1.5 million in restitution.

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