The B.C. government said Wednesday it is distributing just over $930,000 to dozens of investors of William Christopher Teet Fung Chan's fake investment scheme.
The money was recovered through the provincial government's civil forfeiture legal action and represents about one-third of the funds that Chan bilked from investors.
Chan and his two partners in VG Capital Group Inc., were the subject of a 2008 B.C. Securities Commission settlement agreement.
It states the management company purported to be a financial consulting firm specializing in wealth preservation, minimizing taxes and wealth creation.
Instead, millions of dollars were bilked from as many as 45 investors in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario.
The firm promised safe and secure investments, with guaranteed eight per cent returns, but those representations were false or misleading, according to the agreement.
"VG Equity Investments Inc. was not an operational business," it said.
The statement said about $1 million went to Chan as a director who used the money to buy boats, cars and properties.
Chan was found shot to death in a vehicle parked in Vancouver in May 2007.
The B.C. government said some people will recover about 70 per cent of their original investments from its civil forfeiture action, with $400,000 of the funds will go to nine B.C. residents and the rest will be shared by 12 claimants across Canada.
The case is the fourth largest restoration of funds to fraud victims in the provincial government's forfeiture program.
Attorney General Suzanne Anton said in a news release that the program's value extends beyond deterring criminal activity.
"It's extremely positive to be able to return money to bona fide victims."
A B.C. Supreme Court lawsuit filed against Chan's estate in 2008 by Ronald O'Conner said instead of investing the money Chan spent it on himself.
"William Chan failed to invest the funds as directed or initially invested the funds as directed but subsequently redirected the funds to his personal benefit or for the personal benefit of persons related to him."
Since the civil forfeiture program was introduced seven years ago it has recovered more than $31 million. About $10.5 million of that has gone to crime prevention efforts or returned to victims of fraud.
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