A chartered accountant who misled BC’s property regulator about his unauthorized property management business has been fined $100,000.
According to the BC Financial Services Authority, the penalty imposed on Yiu Keung (“Anthony”) Ng is the first of its kind since the province’s real estate laws were overhauled in 2016.
As part of a consent agreement with the regulator, Ng – the sole director of a company called Kitsilano Management Ltd – admitted to the unlicensed management of up to 23 properties in and around Vancouver for foreign clients. between 2000 and 2017.
“It is – and was – very concerning”
The problem came to light after a couple of tenants complained to the Superintendent of Real Estate.
According to the agreement, Ng then “stated in a telephone conversation with the superintendent’s staff that he was not managing any rental property at the time, when that assertion was not true.”
He escalated the situation with an email “stating that Kitsilano was not involved in the management/marketing/sales of real estate and had no intention of doing so in the future, while this claim does not was not true”.
BCFSA Senior Vice President for Compliance Michael Noseworthy said the resulting penalty reflects the fact that Ng misled investigators twice before admitting he was operating an unlicensed property management business. .
“It is – and was – very concerning for us,” Noseworthy said.
“What I would say is look at the amount of the penalty. That’s taken into consideration when we issue a penalty…It’s part of the calculation to determine whether the subject was cooperative, provided factual information, was honest or not . There are consequences.”
The penalty includes a fine of $50,000 and a payment of $50,000, which represents profits from the unauthorized activity from 2016 to 2017.
Noseworthy said the penalty is the first to include restitution of profits since real estate regulations were amended in 2016 to allow the regulator to recoup the fruits of unauthorized activities.
“It’s a good idea to check”
The consent order does not include any profits made by Ng and Kitsilano before 2016.
According to the consent order, Ng holds the designations of Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered General Accountant and Notary Public.
Noseworthy said the BCFSA referred the case to the bodies that oversee these professions.
The consent order says Ng met foreign clients in the course of his work as an accountant and notary public. He employed at least one person to help him collect monthly rent from tenants – keeping a 5% discount.
Noseworthy said unauthorized activity endangers the public as well as the integrity of the real estate industry. He said tenants can check with the regulator to see if the people they are dealing with are operating legally.
“The bottom line here for people is that if someone is posing as a property manager or a real estate agent or a mortgage broker – like any of those or any other regulated financial service provider and you have concerns, or even if you don’t have concerns, it’s a good idea to just check it out,” he said.
“I think this is a really important step in participating in any type of regulated financial service.”