Employer who stole nearly $3M in wages from 157 workers fined $500

By ThinkPol Staff

A Vancouver-based employer who stole nearly $3 million in wages from 157 employees have been fined $500 by British Columbia’s employment watchdog.

The employees belong to the 34 companies of the Istuary Innovation Group owned by Yi An Sun, also known as Ethan Sun, according to a lawsuit filed against the companies and its director by Director of Employment Standards.

Sun is allegedly on the run in China with his wife Yulan “Amy” Hu, according to another lawsuit filed by a group of investors.

The companies, all high-tech startups on paper, are accused of being fronts for a real estate Ponzi scheme in a separate lawsuit filed by another group of investors and employees.

The Director of Employment Standards has determined that the companies have contravened the Employment Standards Act and the 157 employees are all entitled to more than $2.9 million in wages and interest.

Istuary Group has been assessed a $500 dollar administrative penalty and has been asked to stop contravening the Act.

A Writ of Seizure and Sale has also been issued against the companies as a result of a lawsuit filed at the New Westminster courts.

All equipment and furniture from Istuary’s Vancouver office will be auctioned off on December 14[1]https://www.ableauctions.ca/auction?aAuctionId=7d74b728-15ea-488d-9bcf-c84192ecad94.

“Under the Act, directors and officers of Companies can also be required to pay wages owed to employees,” the Director’s order to Istuary Group reads. “Directors and officers who authorize, permit or acquiesce in a contravention of the Act are also liable for the total administrative penalty amount.”

The Istuary Group of companies have not paid their workers’ salaries since May, according to the complaints made against the group by the employees.

Some of those employees are temporary foreign workers who continued working for Istuary without pay out of fear of losing their immigration status, ThinkPol has learned.

An Official from BC’s Jobs, Trade & Technology Ministry confirmed that the Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) has received applications that were supported by a job offer from Istuary, but refused to provide any more information citing privacy reasons.

The latest lawsuit marks a new low for CEO Ethan Sun, who used to regularly rub shoulders with prominent Canadian politicians including current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his predecessor Stephen Harper, former BC Premier Christy Clark and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.

Istuary Group and its CEO have denied all investment allegations in statements of defence filed as part of the investors’ lawsuits, and are seeking special costs from the plaintiffs on the grounds that allegations of fraud against them are “intended to liable[sic] and embarrass” them and “to injure their reputation and their ability to carry on business and have had those effects.”

ThinkPol needs your help to keep going. While other media outlets are content reproducing industry press releases, we carry out painstaking data analysis, spending hours obtaining, and then combing through the data. And the data isn’t free. Each court record and land title search costs us $12. Each corporate record costs us $7.

Please consider chipping in to help ThinkPol.

References   [ + ]

1. https://www.ableauctions.ca/auction?aAuctionId=7d74b728-15ea-488d-9bcf-c84192ecad94

15 Responses to Employer who stole nearly $3M in wages from 157 workers fined $500

  1. TMD748 says:

    Truly a Great Leap Forward.

    • JK says:

      Wulp. Pretty much what everyone knows has been going on while Christie Clark worked in collusion. Why can’t politicians be investigated and charged?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Politicians appoint judges.

  3. M. West says:

    Politicians appoint judges.

  4. Protections LoLz says:

    “each contravention”… pretty sure that means at a minimum $500*157=$78,500 since each case constitutes a unique contravention.

  5. Tom says:

    The fine should include the cost of investigating and putting this through the proper channels at minimum.

  6. Jfbc says:

    Abrams Towing of Ontario Canada has been caught doing the same thing. Hiring “Business Owners” to run their own companies even though the CRA and Employment Standards have told them this is illegal and all Business Owners are actually Employees. The fraud goes back to the 1980. Almost 1000 drivers bilked out of hourly wages and instead paid less than minimum wage. Company is currently being investigated by multiple government departments.

  7. Wrz says:

    Makes sense!
    200$ for a certain politician for not disclosing a conflict of interest,
    500$ for wage theft
    175$ for singing in a public place!
    Wat does this tell us?
    TRudeau is more rightwing than Harper?

  8. vanslumlord says:

    Please join us in r/vanhousing to discuss solutions to the housing crisis:


  9. Anonymous says:

    Oh I thought it was going to say Cabot Links

  10. Gil says:

    OK, I will check out this report though I have not read any “Thinkpol”
    commentary yet…….DOH! first sentence not even grammatically correct!

    Warning! Warning!
    Author not even accurately acquainted with the English Language!
    No author given! . . . It’s the whole damn staff!
    Exit! Exit!
    Probably contains “not real content” !

  11. John says:

    There were a lot more employees who lost their wages/time. This 157 people is BC only, other provinces were not included.

  12. nonconfidencevote says:

    Once again, to the utter disgust of all Law abiding citizens of Canada.
    The Canadian Judicial system , once again, proves itself a toothless tiger that is the laughstock of the Planet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.