A regulatory hearing panel has ordered a trio of fraudsters to pay more than $1.5 million in sanctions and disgorgement, and permanently banned them from securities markets.

The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) ordered three Vancouver residents — John Sand, Jolyon Charles and Christopher Gulston — to each pay administrative penalties of $380,000. The panel also ordered a combined $400,000 in disgorgement.

The sanctions follow a finding back in August that the three had defrauded two investors (one of whom was an insurance broker and former mutual fund rep) out of $600,000 in a purported scheme to manufacture fuel cells based on non-existent purchase orders for the batteries.

Instead, the panel found they had spent most of the investors’ money on personal expenses. About $200,000 was returned to investors.

BCSC staff sought administrative penalties of $500,000 against Sand and Achs, and $515,000 against Gulston, along with permanent bans and the disgorgement of ill-gotten gains.

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In determining sanctions, the panel said the fraud was “significant.”

“The dishonesty was intentional and planned, and included the creation of false documents and a failure to keep the types of records which would allow the flow of funds to be accurately tracked,” it said.

It also noted that the three benefited from their misconduct.

At the same time, the panel noted that some of the money was repaid and that the fraud didn’t affect a large number of investors.

“As a result, we do not put the administrative penalty at the top of the precedent range,” it said.

The panel ordered $180,000 in disgorgement against Achs, $120,000 against Sand and $100,000 for Gulston, noting that any money collected from these orders could be distributed to victims.