(with downloadable mp4 video)

VANCOUVER, May 13, 2020 /CNW/ - A Parksville man has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison for defrauding two B.C. investors of more than half a million dollars, the longest sentence ever imposed as a result of a criminal investigation by the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC).

James Warring Minnie (also known as Terry James Minnie) was sentenced May 8 in B.C. Provincial Court in Victoria after being convicted of two counts of criminal fraud over $5,000. The charges stemmed from money he solicited between 2014 and 2016. With time served, he has eight months left on his sentence.

Minnie told the two victims that their money would help pay the administrative expenses of a Venezuelan hedge fund that was winding down. Minnie, who was previously convicted of fraud and theft in 2007 for his role in a scheme that also involved both victims, told them they could recoup their losses from the earlier scheme and make substantial profits after the hedge fund was liquidated.

But the Venezuelan hedge fund didn't exist, and Minnie didn't use any of their money as promised. Instead, the 56-year-old spent almost all the money on personal expenses, including stays at upscale hotels, restaurant meals and liquor, along with many other retail purchases and substantial cash withdrawals.

Minnie was arrested at the Beach Acres Resort in Parksville in October 2017 by the Oceanside RCMP following an investigation by the BCSC's Criminal Investigations Branch. Minnie has been held in custody since his arrest.

In addition to the jail sentence, Minnie has been ordered to repay the victims a total of $543,220 in restitution. He is also prohibited from contacting either of the victims.

"As this sentence shows, we will use all of the legal tools at our disposal to stop fraudsters," said BCSC Executive Director Peter Brady. "Our Criminal Investigations Branch has helped secure 37 convictions and put 18 people behind bars over the past decade. Anyone who is contemplating securities fraud should know that they could face serious jail time for their actions."

In 2007, a Saanich police investigation led to Minnie being convicted of six counts of fraud and one count of theft for his role in an investment in a purported lumber project in Papua New Guinea that resulted in at least $1.8 million in investor losses. He was sentenced to five years in prison. Following Minnie's conviction, the BCSC permanently banned him from trading or purchasing securities or engaging in investor relation activities.

About the British Columbia Securities Commission (www.bcsc.bc.ca)

The British Columbia Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating capital markets in British Columbia through the administration of the Securities Act. Our mission is to protect and promote the public interest by fostering:

  • A securities market that is fair and warrants public confidence
  • A dynamic and competitive securities industry that provides investment opportunities and access to capital

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

SOURCE British Columbia Securities Commission

Cision View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/May2020/13/c6049.html