The perpetrator of a New Brunswick Ponzi scam has been ordered to disgorge almost $600,000 and has been banned from the investment industry for life, 10 months after he was sentenced in a criminal trial.
“The Tribunal considered the evidence presented by staff as well as compelling written statements provided by the defrauded investors,” said Rick Hancox, Chief Executive Officer of the Commission. “It was important that those who were defrauded had an opportunity to express the impact and effects that this crime had on them, their family and friends.”
New Brunswick’s Financial and Consumer Services Tribunal said it has ordered William Watson Priest, a mortgage broker in Nackawic, to disgorge almost $600,000. In September 2012, Priest was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to nine counts of fraud. He was charged on July 11, 2012.
The disgorged amount represents the amount that Priest defrauded from several investors. Today’s decision was released following a May 16 hearing. The regulators issued their initial cease trade order in November 2011 and final decisions on penalties had to await criminal proceedings and other related matters.
Starting from 2008, Priest obtained total of $858,782.82 from 11 investors, all residents of New Brunswick, the regulator said.
The money was obtained from with a promise of high rates of return, however priest never in invested any of the funds, rather he deposited the monies into his personal account and used the money to either pay other investors or for his personal use. The investors suffered an aggregate financial loss of $594,997.82.
A disgorgement order requires a person or firm to surrender money obtained as a result of breaking New Brunswick securities laws. Any money received by the Commission will be distributed to investors who have suffered a loss.
The regulator said the charges brought by the RCMP and the court proceedings resulted in Priest’s conviction.