03/27/2015 04:38 EDT | Updated 05/27/2015 05:59 EDT

Two men fined $30 million, banned from markets for B.C. investor fraud

VANCOUVER - The B.C. Securities Commission has permanently banned two men from the province's capital markets over what it says was one of the largest cases of fraud in British Columbia history.

The commission says Michael Lathigee and Earle Pasquill raised $21.7 million from almost 700 investors without telling them that their firm, the Freedom Investment Club Group, had severe cash flow problems.

Each man has been ordered to pay $15 million in administrative penalties to the commission, resign from any positions they hold as directors or officers and are banned from taking part in any market activity.

The commission also has ordered the men to give up the $21.7 million it says they obtained as part of their misconduct.

A commission panel found the men used almost $10 million raised from investors to make loans related to companies instead of investing the funds.

Lathigee and Pasquill jointly directed and controlled the FIC Group which included FIC Real Estate Projects Ltd., the FIC Foreclosure Fund Ltd., and WBIC Canada Ltd.