The Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) has permanently banned a man after he was convicted of fraud over $5,000 in Ontario.

In November 2019 the Ontario Superior Court of Justice sentenced Christopher Uitvlugt to five years in jail after he pleaded guilty to one count of fraud.

For about a year, Uitvlugt had operated a fraudulent Ponzi scheme through his business, Next Level Investments, which was registered in Ontario in April 2016, the ASC decision said. He raised about $4.8 million from at least 874 investors, including at least 10 from Alberta, the ASC said in a release.

Uitvlugt, a former Alberta resident, offered investors an opportunity to make a significant return — up to 550% — from his supposed foreign exchange trading efforts. He instead made payments to some investors from the contributions of subsequent investors while also using investment funds for unauthorized personal and company expenses, the release said.

In its decision, the ASC said the ban is proportionate to the misconduct’s seriousness and necessary to protect the public interest.