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B.C. couple charged with securities fraud

British Columbia Securities Commission

LAURA LEYSHON/laura leyshon The Globe and Mail

B.C. regulators have charged a Vancouver couple with fraud, alleging they raised over $1-million from investors by improperly selling securities of their hair-restoration company.

The British Columbia Securities Commission said it arrested Ronald James Conn and his wife, Sze Man "Ella" Conn, last week with assistance from the Vancouver Police Department.

Mr. Conn faces 15 charges under the Criminal Code and a further 119 counts under the B.C. Securities Act. Ms. Conn is charged with five counts under the Securities Act and one count under the Criminal Code. The charges include fraud, unlawful trading and breach of previously imposed bail conditions.

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The BCSC said in a release Friday it is the third arrest for Mr. Conn and the second arrest for Ms. Conn related to illegal trading of securities of Follicles, a company involved in manufacturing a hair-restoration device. The company sells a head-massage product called the Trioxinator. Mr. Conn was first arrested and released on bail in May, 2010, and the couple were again arrested last October.

The Conns are accused of raising over $1-million from 21 investors between July, 2008, and September, 2010.

Ms. Conn has been released on bail while Mr. Conn remains in custody awaiting completion of his bail hearing, the BCSC release said.

The commission said Mr. Conn was sanctioned by the BCSC in 1997 for his involvement with mining company Mindoro Corp. and received a 15-year trading ban and $50,000 fine. That ban is set to expire next February. The fine has not been paid, according to a payment status report on the BCSC website.

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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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