BCSC can enforce order against fraudster now living in U.S., Nevada court rules

Chung Chow

For the first time ever, a court in the United States has recognized an order from the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC).

A Nevada court has ruled it will enforce a $21.7 million BCSC order against Michael Lathigee, who committed fraud in 2008 while he was a resident of Vancouver. Lathigee has since moved to Las Vegas.

In its order, the Nevada court said it is honouring the BCSC’s decision to compensate Lathigee’s victims because it is “critically important that we maintain our good relations and ties with Canada.”

According to the BCSC, Lathigee and partner Earle Douglas Pasquill committed fraud in B.C. in 2008 against investors in companies belonging to the Freedom Investment Club, which was controlled and directed by both men. The companies included WBIC Canada Ltd., FIC Real Estate Projects Ltd. and FIC Foreclosure Fund Ltd.

Between February 1, 2008, and November 15, 2008, Lathigee, Pasquill and the companies promoted and distributed securities to 600 investors, raising $21.7 million. Lathigee and Pasquill did not inform investors that FIC was close to insolvency, leading to the BCSC’s decision that the men defrauded the investors.

In addition to the $21.7 million compensation, the BCSC has ordered that Lathigee pay a $15 million administrative penalty. He is also permanently banned from trading in securities in B.C.

Lathigee is appealing the decision to the Supreme Court of Nevada. The BCSC said it is now considering its next steps.

- with files from Jennifer Harrison