A panel of the British Columbia Securities Commission has upheld an order preventing one of the perpetrators of a multi-million-dollar fraud from withdrawing or transferring funds from his registered retirement accounts.
Earle Douglas Pasquill had petitioned the panel to remove a "preservation order" the BCSC imposed on his accounts in March of this year.
Pasquill owes the BCSC an administrative penalty of $15 million stemming from a panel decision in 2014 that found he and an associate, Michael Patrick Lathigee, had fraudulently raised $21.7 million from 700 investors back in 2008.
Pasquill is also liable for the $21.7 million, the BCSC said in a news release, noting that he has not paid any of the money he owes so far.
The accounts subject to the preservation order were worth $644,951 as of April 30, according to the BCSC. If further proceedings are successful, that money "may be available for payment to victims of the fraud," the commission said.
In asking for the preservation order to be overturned, Pasquill argued that it violated B.C.'s Pension Benefits Standards Act and its Court Order Enforcement Act, which prevent registered accounts from being seized as part of enforcement orders.
The BCSC panel ruled that the preservation order is not enforcement, "but rather merely maintains the status quo," and that maintaining the status quo does not constitute a seizure.
Pasquill told the panel his gross income, which comes from his retirement accounts and payments from the Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security, is roughly $95,000 per year, and said his basic living expenses are around $4,430 per month.
The panel raised questions about the necessity or validity of some of those expenses, however, ultimately finding that Pasquill had not "provided sufficient evidence regarding his living expenses to establish that he would suffer hardship if the preservation order were not revoked or varied."