A woman has been accused of defrauding Richmond and Vancouver residents out of $3 million and then spending the money at casinos and on an immigration lawyer to fight her removal from Canada.
The allegations are being made by the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC), which claims Meiyun Zhang, between 2014 and 2016, convinced two Vancouver residents and one Richmond resident to lend her money or invest in her business.
She allegedly told two of them that their investments would be used to help Chinese students get a visa in Canada.
Zhang apparently told the third investor that the funds would be used to exchange foreign currency for Canadian dollars, to be used by Chinese students and tourists visiting Canada.
She claimed the investors would earn returns of between six per cent and 10 per cent without any risk, even though such returns, say the BCSC, are not possible without risk.
The BCSC alleges she spent the money on other things, including:
• paying returns to investors in Canada and China
• repaying a personal loan to a Calgary real estate agent
• retail purchases
• utility bills
• paying an immigration lawyer to dispute her removal order by Canada Immigration
• cash withdrawals, and
• gambling at casinos.
The BCSC’s allegations against Zhang under the Securities Act have not been proven. The commission will schedule a hearing date in December 2020.
The BCSC said it wanted to “acknowledge the importance of information the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada provided in connection with this investigation.”