BC company offers $180K settlement after duping vulnerable investor $1.75M | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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BC company offers $180K settlement after duping vulnerable investor $1.75M

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A BC woman that was duped out of $1.75-million with the promise of a threefold return on investment from a company that only had $100 in the bank and made no money, has recouped a fraction of the debt.

Bracetek Industries had been ordered to pay $850,000 debt by the regulator, according to May 29 BC Securities Commission ruling.

Instead, the investor will receive $178,749 from a third party as partial settlement. It's unknown who the third party is.

The case dates back to 2015 when Geoffrey Rajay Sidhu met for coffee with an investor he'd found online.

The investor was struggling financially, living mainly off child support and had $300,000 in debt.

However, she lived mortgage-free in a $3.2 million home on the west side of Vancouver.

Sidhu told her his father owned Bracetek Industries and had patents on braces used in construction.

He said the company was soon to go public and she would triple her investment.

The woman remortgaged her house and handed over $1.75-million to buy shares.

However, the company had no money, no revenue and no licensing fees for its products.

Sidhu then spent almost all the money on companies he and his father owed.

The company was accused of fraud and illegally distributing securities by the regulator although the fraud accusation was later dropped.

In 2023, the BC Securities Commission ordered Bracetek to pay $850,000 plus a $50,000 fine and banned Sidhu for seven and a half years for trading or purchasing securities.

The Commission described the financial harm to the woman as "manifest."

Separately, the woman launched a civil case against the company. The case is still moving through the courts.

In early 2023, Sidhu handed over $900,000 to the Securities Commission having been ordered to do so six months early.

The recent Securities Commission ruling says it has now received $178,749 as a "partial satisfaction" of its original order for Bracetek to pay $850,000.

As is protocol, the Commission says any investor who lost money can now apply and make a claim.

— This story as corrected at 2:30 p.m. June 10, 2024 to specify the $178,748 came a from a third party not Bracetek Industries.

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