A Richmond law firm at the centre of an insolvency controversy - stemming from the disappearance of $7.58 million from the company’s trust fund last year - said Monday (December 4) that two people she suspects of stealing the money have been arrested in China.
But Hong Guo, who heads the Guo Law Corp., added that the missing money – which prompted a number of the firm’s clients to sue Guo for $2.1 million in alleged losses, according to Postmedia reports – is unlikely to be recovered, because too much time has lapsed since the money went missing in March 2016.
Guo said she aims to repay the missing funds by early next year by selling personal assets. She added that her firm's reputation has been “heavily damaged" by the controversy, which led to the Law Society of B.C. investigating her practice and taking custody of the trust fund account (housed at CIBC).
“The law society has done a thorough – and, believe me, very thorough – investigation, and they haven’t found anything wrong with my practice, with me, or with my law firm.” Guo said. “This is a criminal matter.”
The law society disputed Guo’s claim that the investigation has been completed, adding that the society remains in charge of custody of some parts of Guo Law Corp.’s operations.
“The investigation [into Guo Law] is ongoing,” said law society spokesman David Jordan. “All the details of the case are confidential until a citation is issued.... Every case is different, and especially given the international financial nature of this case, we can’t give a timeline of when [a citation] is expected.”
Guo alleges that two people colluded in 2016 to forge cheques to take money from the law firm’s trust account, then cashed the cheques and converted the money into casino chips at a New Westminster casino. Those chips were then cashed in China, Guo said.
Guo said she succeeded in petitioning the Chinese Ministry of Public Security to issue a warrant, and two people were arrested and charged in August. A trial is expected in the next six months, she said.
The Richmond lawyer said local RCMP did not help her with the case.
Richmond RCMP officer Cpl. Dennis Hwang said the RCMP detachment has heard “some of the allegations being mentioned,” but added that it can't comment about ongoing investigations.