BCSC panel issues lifetime ban against B.C. man for fraud

VANCOUVER, Oct. 25, 2013 /CNW/ - A British Columbia Securities Commission panel has sanctioned a B.C. man for committing fraud.

In August 2013, a commission panel found that Won Sang Chen Cho (a.k.a. Craig Cho) committed fraud through his various businesses, including Chosen Media and Groops Media.

Between January 2011 and February 2012, Cho, doing business as Chosen Media, promoted securities on the Vancouver Craigslist website and sought minimum investments of $5,000. The panel found that Cho raised $101,846 from five investors, to whom he returned purported investment returns of $62,000.

Cho admitted to promising extremely high rates of return that were "risk free", and to telling prospective investors that he would deposit their funds into accounts at various sports betting websites. He admitted that he told investors that profit would be generated by the "generous signup and reload bonuses" provided by the sports betting websites.

The panel also found that in December 2012, during the course of the Chosen Media investigation, Cho sent an e-mail promoting an investment with Groops Media requiring a minimum $10,000 investment. He admitted that this was after he had been warned by BCSC staff that he must comply with prospectus requirements when distributing securities through Chosen Media.

In its sanctions decision, the panel stated that, "Cho has been given several chances to correct his behaviour and has not taken them. It is clear that he poses a serious and continuing risk to investors and to our markets."

For his misconduct, Cho is permanently banned from trading in securities, purchasing securities or exchange contracts, and from becoming or acting as a director or officer of any issuer or registrant. He is also permanently prohibited from becoming or acting as a registrant, investment fund manager or promoter, from engaging in investor relations activities, and from acting in a management or consultative capacity in connection with the securities market.

The panel ordered Cho to pay the $20,569 still owed to investors, as well as an administrative penalty of $200,000.

The panel also permanently cease-traded Chosen Media and Groops Media.

The B.C. Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating trading in securities within the province. You may view the decision on our website, www.bcsc.bc.ca, by typing Cho, Chosen Media, Groops Media or 2013 BCSECCOM 454 in the search box.  Information regarding disciplinary proceedings can be found in the Enforcement section of the BCSC website.

Please visit the Canadian Securities Administrators' Disciplined Persons List for information relating to persons disciplined by provincial securities regulators, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association (MFDA).

Learn how to protect yourself and become a more informed investor at www.investright.org

SOURCE British Columbia Securities Commission



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