A Calgary man who admitted to duping investors in a retirement account unlocking scheme has been fined and banned by the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC).
An ASC hearing panel ordered sanctions against Tinashe (Nash) Sylvester Nyadongo and his company, Future Growth Investments, after they admitted to violating securities laws by illegally distributing securities in the company and misusing investor funds.
According to a joint submission from the regulator and Nyadongo, the company raised at least $1.2 million from 28 investors, including investors who sought to “unlock” their locked-in retirement accounts, and retail investors seeking to make real estate and other investments.
However, the regulator found that the securities were distributed without a prospectus or exemptions, amounting to an illegal distribution; and that investors were misled about how their funds would be used, including $234,00 that was diverted to personal use.
According to the submission, another $440,000 was loaned to a small real estate developer owned by an acquaintance of Nyadongo, which has yet to pay back any of the money; and, $485,000 was paid to “unlock” investors (they invested about $750,000 in total).
In addition to the admissions regarding the misconduct, the sanctions handed down by the hearing panel were jointly proposed by the respondents and ASC staff.
The panel accepted the proposed sanctions, noting that they are “within a range of reasonableness and that they are in the public interest.”
As a result, it ordered that Nyadongo pay an administrative penalty of $150,000, along with $234,000 in disgorgement and $10,000 in costs.
He was also banned for 20 years, and the company was permanently banned from the markets.
The notice indicated that the respondents received credit for exemplary cooperation, as they aided the regulator’s investigation and had no previous disciplinary history. However, it also indicated that Nyadongo has no money.