B.C. securities fraudster gets house arrest for breaching ban on trading

A Burnaby woman with a history of securities fraud has been sentenced to a year of probation after defying a lifetime ban on trading in B.C.'s capital markets.

Enna Keller pleaded guilty last week in Vancouver provincial court to two counts of trading in securities in violation of a permanent ban from the B.C. Securities Commission, according to a BCSC press release.

In 2017, a BCSC panel found that Keller had committed fraud by raising about $3.2 million US from hundreds of investors for a manufacturing company called Lexicon Building Systems Ltd., which had been the subject of a cease trade order since 2009.

According to the BCSC press release, Keller breached her ban on trading not long after it was issued, when two victims of the Lexicon scam reached out to demand she return their investments.

Keller instead provided the victims' personal information to Lexicon and instructed the company to issue them shares.

"The judge cited the COVID-19 pandemic and the non-violent nature of Keller's offence in sentencing her to probation, which includes 90 days of house arrest," the press release says.

Keller was banned from the securities market alongside Richard Lian after the pair defrauded about 315 investors by promising their funds would be used to cover Lexicon's operating costs and debts.

But Lian and Keller actually used $2.4 million US of that money on matters unrelated to the company, while giving $180,000 to investors who had demanded their money back.

As part of the 2017 BCSC disciplinary decision, Lian and Keller were also ordered to pay administrative penalties of $2.42 million US.