B.C. man could lose driver's licence over $7.6M unpaid fraud fines, regulator rules

·2 min read
The B.C. Securities Commission's logo is seen at its Vancouver, B.C. offices in this file photo. The provincial investments regulator has approved a move to take away the driving privileges of a Richmond businessman until he pays $7.6 million in fines. (CBC - image credit)
The B.C. Securities Commission's logo is seen at its Vancouver, B.C. offices in this file photo. The provincial investments regulator has approved a move to take away the driving privileges of a Richmond businessman until he pays $7.6 million in fines. (CBC - image credit)

A Richmond businessman could lose his right to drive after the B.C. Securities Commission approved a move to take away his driving privileges until he pays $7.6 million in fines.

The provincial investments regulator ordered Paul Oei, a former immigration consultant, to pay the money nearly five years ago after it ruled he defrauded investors of millions.

When he didn't pay up, the commission's executive director asked the Insurance Corporation of B.C. to block him from renewing his driver's licence under a new law.

On Friday, Oei lost his appeal to a commission panel to block that move, and told CBC News he is innocent of the charges, cannot afford to pay the penalty and needs a vehicle to drive family members if there were an emergency.

"Does that really help me to pay more?" Oei told CBC News in a phone interview. "What's the point of taking away my driver's licence?

"I did not commit any fraud. That's why they say I do not have remorse; I am still trying to convince them that."

That's not how the BCSC saw the allegations against him, ruling in 2017 that Oei committed fraud and misappropriated investors' money.

In March, B.C. became the first province to revoke driving privileges for unpaid securities law sanctions.

The commission ruled Oei "committed the most serious misconduct" under the B.C. Securities Act, according to the June 10 ruling.

"Significant sums of money were fraudulently misappropriated by the Applicant," the panellists' decision read.

"The Applicant has neither paid any part of the very significant amounts that remain outstanding nor made any proposal for a payment plan.

"Lastly, we note that [Oei] continues to show no remorse or responsibility for his role in the fraud and misappropriation."

According to Friday's decision, Oei told the panellists he could not get a better job without being able to drive.

"Come up with a payment plan based on my income," he told CBC News. "Come on, you banned me for lifetime from what I can be doing in the financial industry."

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