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B.C. securities commission fines, bans pair on findings of fraud

Derrick Penner, Postmedia Network

British Columbia B.C. Securities Commission logo, BCSC. (Handout Photo)

British Columbia B.C. Securities Commission logo, BCSC. (Handout Photo)

The British Columbia Securities Commission has issued more than $4 million in financial penalties and permanently banned two people from operating in the province's financial markets over allegations of fraud and failing to abide by commission orders, according to a decision released Thursday.

The commission permanently banned Richard Lian, also known as Richard Terry Ruuska, and Enna M. Keller from trading securities or acting as executives or advisers related to the conduct. In addition, each of them was fined $2.42 million and Lian was order $2.4 million of the funds raised.

A commission panel on Aug. 16, 2016 found that Lian and Keller had committed fraud by raising US$3.2 million from about 315 investors (140 from B.C.) through the sale of securities in a company called Lexicon Building System, pair according to documents.

Lexicon had been subject to a cease-trade order by the BCSC since 2009 and commission documents said Lian and Keller told investors the funds would be used to take the company out of bankruptcy and out from under that order.

The commission, however, found that only about US$600,000 was spent on Lexicon's debt, $180,000 was used to pay out investors who demanded their money back and that Lian spent the balance — $2.4 million — on matters unrelated to the company.

In the decision document, the commission noted that Lian and Keller maintain that the panel's findings were in error.

The commission also issued a permanent cease-trade order against securities of EagleMark Ventures LLC and Falcon Holdings LLC, both corporate entities of Lian.

depenner@postmedia.com