A B.C. resident who stands accused by the B.C. Securities Commission of defrauding investors out of nearly $3.2 million has had temporary prohibitions against her extended after her hearing was adjourned due to health concerns.
In fall of 2020, the commission alleged Meiyun Zhang solicited Vancouver and Richmond investors, promising them 6-10 per cent monthly returns.
The commission stated Zhang instead used the money to pay returns to other investors in Canada and China, repay a personal loan to a Calgary realtor, gamble and, among other things, pay an immigration lawyer to dispute her removal order by the federal government.
A liability hearing was set for September 2021; however, Zhang claimed her health had deteriorated and so the hearing was delayed. Throughout early 2022 Zhang submitted further medical reports, although became uncooperative with the commission, according to BCSC executive director Peter Brady, who opposed adjournment.
“Fairness to Zhang needs to be balanced with the public interest in having the matter proceed. Given that there has already been three adjournments over the course of two and a half years, the balancing of those interests has now ‘tipped in favour’ of having the matter proceed — even if Zhang cannot attend in person or does not have counsel,” argued Brady, according to a commission panel’s decision to adjourn.
The panel found that temporary prohibition orders against Zhang could be extended and by doing so the public interest would be maintained.
“At this stage the circumstances have changed dramatically. Almost 30 months have passed and at this point it is not clear that the hearing will proceed any time soon. In addition, we have found that Zhang has become uncooperative in our processes, declining to provide the regular updates on her health as she was required to do and refusing to provide a proper address where communications and documents can be delivered to her,” stated the panel.
The panel stated the prohibitions are justified because “the allegations suggest that Zhang poses a risk to the public market and because it is uncertain when we can conduct a fair hearing.”
On May 10, Zhang had the prohibitions against her extended to May 10, 2024.
Zhang is prohibited from trading securities, except for her own account and via a registrant. Zhang must also refrain from becoming or acting as a director or officer of a public company and may not promote securities or consult within the industry.