Saturday, September 15, 2012

Teresa Mitchell-Banks new director of enforcement for the BC Securities Commission

Investment fraud specialist, David Baines from the Vancouver Sun is reporting that Teresa Mitchell-Banks, the former head of B.C.’s organized crime prosecution unit has been appointed to be the director of enforcement for the BC Securities Commission.

Sounds like this is a step forward. Both David Baines and Kim Bolan claim Mitchell-Banks is competent and accessible. Baines did express the concern that Mitchell-Banks background is with criminal prosecutions and that the vast majority of the commission’s enforcement efforts are pursued through administrative hearings, where penalties are limited to market suspensions and fines, rather than through criminal prosecutions.

However, BCSC executive director Paul Bourque said “We allege fraud in many cases, and the difference between administrative and criminal fraud is just one of intent.” In recent years, the commission has been stepping up its criminal investigations and pressing Crown counsel to take securities offenders to criminal court, where jail sentences can be imposed.

A step forward indeed. Investment fraud is a huge problem in the modern world that effects pensions, markets and tax dollars. Focusing in on the criminal aspect of today’s investment fraud is crucial to our civil liberty. It is often tied to money laundering through drug trafficking like with Bandera gold.

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