AYAZ Dhanani (a.k.a. Alex Dhanani, Azim Virani, Michael Lee, Alex Nebris, Paul Dhanani, Samuel Ramos and Rahim Jiwa), 37, of Vancouver was arrested on October 2 following an investigation by the Criminal Investigations Branch of the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC). He was arrested in Vancouver with assistance from the Vancouver Police and is in custody pending a bail hearing. A trial date has yet to be set, the BCSC announced on Monday.
Dhanani was arrested for multiple charges under the Criminal Code and the Securities Act. It is alleged that, contrary to the Criminal Code, Dhanani:
- committed fraud and theft in excess of $5,000, and
- failed to comply with a term of his release on other outstanding prosecutions resulting from prior investigations by the BCSC and other investigative agencies.
It is also alleged that, contrary to the Securities Act, Dhanani:
- traded in securities in breach of a BCSC order issued December 16, 2016,
- distributed securities without a prospectus,
- gave undertakings related to the future value or price of a security,
- made misrepresentations, and
- acted as an advisor without being registered.
The BCSC issued the December 16 order after it found Dhanani defrauded three B.C. investors of $188,800. The BCSC issued several permanent prohibitions against Dhanani, including prohibitions from purchasing and trading in any securities, from engaging in investor relations activities, or from becoming or acting as a director or officer of any issuer or registrant.
The BCSC also ordered Dhanani to pay $188,800 in disgorgement and an administrative penalty of $225,000. A portion of the disgorgement order has been satisfied and the administrative penalty remains unpaid.