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BCSC alleges fraud in Comox development scheme

BCSC alleges fraud in Comox development scheme

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The British Columbia Securities Commission has levelled fraud allegations against a group that raised $7.3-million from investors for a private school and commercial development, saying the funds were raised improperly.

The B.C. regulator issued a notice Tuesday alleging Theodore Everett, Leonard Ralph and Robert Duke operated Independent Academies Canada Inc. and raised money from 150 investors to build a "sports, educational, wellness and residential" complex in Comox, B.C. The development was supposed to include a private school and private university.

The property, purchased in 2006, was subject to foreclosure proceedings in 2009, but the BCSC said that fact was improperly concealed while the company sold securities to 61 investors. The property was sold in 2012.

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The BCSC said the company relied on special exemptions available to accredited investors so they did not have to prepare and distribute a prospectus for the investments, but alleged at least 122 investors did not meet the exemption qualifications, "thus rendering much of the distribution illegal."

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Real Estate Reporter

Janet McFarland is the real estate reporter for The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business, with a focus on residential real estate trends. She joined Report on Business in 1995, and has specialized in reporting on corporate governance, executive compensation, pension policy, business law, securities regulation and enforcement of white-collar crime. More

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