30 days' jail time for former BC financial consultant

30 days' jail time for former BC financial consultant

30 days

A Surrey, BC woman has been jailed for 30 days after failing to attend a court hearing during efforts by the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) to collect her unpaid fines.

In a sanctions decision issued in 2016, the BCSC ordered Renee Michelle Penko to pay an administrative penalty of $40,000 and to disgorge $155,000. This was after she was found to have acted as a finder in a fraud operated by Thomas Arthur Williams, a former registrant whom the BCSC permanently banned. Williams was ordered to pay penalties amounting to $21.8 million for fraudulently taking millions of dollars from over 120 individuals.

Despite the commission’s “persistent” efforts to collect her fines, she has not paid them. A writ of seizure and sale resulted no assets; the BCSC also scheduled an examination in aid, but Penko did not attend. This prompted the BCSC to issue her a subpoena to debtor — a collection step that compels debtors to provide information about their financial situation and can lead to a court-ordered payment plan — on November 6, 2018.

Penko failed to attend the subpoena to debtor hearing on November 6; she also did not comply with an order to appear in court on December 4. The BCSC obtained an apprehension order from the court, and Penko surrendered to the court on December 31. After the presiding judge deemed her to be in contempt, she was sentenced to 30 days in jail and was ordered to appear before the court in New Westminster on January 30.

Aside from the fines, the BCSC’s 2016 sanctions decision against Penko included conditions on her registration; with certain exceptions, she was also prohibited from purchasing or trading in securities, acting in a management or consultative capacity in connection with securities-market activities, and engaging in investor relations.

The BCSC has also ordered Penko to resign from any position she may have as a director or officer of any issuer or registrant.

She faces bans and supervision orders that are to remain in effect until August 17, 2020; however, if she fails to pay her fines by that date, the sanctions will stay in force until she is able to do so.


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