Canada’s securities watchdog has found that Gary Ng, the former owner of PI Financial Corp. and a former co-owner of Bridging Finance Inc., committed fraudulent conduct with loans he used to finance the purchase of several investment advisory firms.
The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) published a public notice this week saying a penalty hearing for Mr. Ng has been scheduled for May 27 after a hearing panel ruled on May 9 that he had engaged in fraudulent conduct.
IIROC also found that Mr. Ng failed to co-operate with the regulator’s enforcement staff who were conducting an investigation. IIROC’s reason for the decision has not yet been made public.
Earlier this year, Mr. Ng was charged by the RCMP’s Integrated Market Enforcement Team (IMET), with one count of fraud over $5,000 and one count of laundering the proceeds of crime.
In an e-mailed statement, Mr. Ng’s defence lawyer, Christi Hunter, declined to comment on the IIROC decision but said Mr. Ng denies the criminal allegations against him and “intends to fully defend himself through the criminal process.”
The IIROC hearing – and the RCMP charges – follow two high-profile investigations by Canadian regulators in which Mr. Ng played central roles.
The first of those, launched by IIROC in February, 2020, alleged that Mr. Ng used fabricated investment account statements to inflate his personal net worth and persuade lenders to provide him with $172-million in loans.
A large portion of that debt was used to finance Mr. Ng’s purchase of several investment advisory firms, the most significant of which was his 2018 acquisition of PI. Mr. Ng paid $100-million in an all-cash deal to acquire the Vancouver-based dealer, which offers investment-banking and wealth-management services and had $4.5-billion in assets under management at the time.
The regulator also alleged that Mr. Ng supplied falsified collateral when buying a 50-per-cent stake in private debt manager Bridging Finance in the summer of 2019. Bridging lent Mr. Ng’s companies more than $131-million – and the loans are now part of a much larger investigation into Bridging by the Ontario Securities Commission.
The alleged violations against Mr. Ng occurred while he was a director, investor, executive and registered representative with PI Financial Corp. and a director, executive and registered representative with Chippingham Financial Group Limited, both IIROC-regulated firms.
Mr. Ng is no longer a registrant with any IIROC-regulated firms.
With reports from Tim Kiladze
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