B.C. Securities Commission panel convicts two men in Ponzi scheme linked to alcohol, supplements, and e-cigarettes

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      Two flim-flam artists have been found guilty of violating the B.C. Securities Act.

      Todd Norman John Bezzasso raised $5-million from 85 investors in a Ponzi scheme through his companies, Bezzaz Holdings Group Ltd. and Nexus Global Trading Ltd.

      A three-member B.C. Securities Commission panel—vice chair Nigel Cave, George Glover, and Audrey Ho—ruled that he and his companies committed fraud against all of the investors.

      Bezzasso's associate, Wei Kai ("Kevin") Liao, was convicted of defrauding one investor. He also sold $1.6 million worth of securities without being registered to 27 investors; he acted as an adviser without being registered to a dozen investors who traded securities worth nearly $1 million.

      Promotional materials suggested that Bezzaz Holdings was selling health supplements and e-cigarettes, whereas Nexus was allegedly in the alcohol business.

      Investors were guaranteed returns of five to 30 percent if they handed over postdated cheques.

      Penalties will be imposed at a later date.

      The decision is available on the B.C. Securities Commission website.