BC Liberals continued to support alleged Ponzi operator that sponsored Christy Clark despite warnings

By ThinkPol Staff

An alleged Ponzi operator who sponsored former British Columbia Premier Christy Clark’s junkets to China continued to enjoy the full support and backing of the former BC Liberal government despite red flags raised by auditors, according to documents obtained by ThinkPol.

The documents also show that whenever favours were sought from the former government on behalf of Istuary Innovation Group, whose CEO has allegedly fled to China after fleecing investors in an alleged Ponzi scam and stealing millions in employee wages, the BC Liberals were reminded of the sponsorship BC’s former governing party received from the company.

“I am forwarding to you and Istuary invitation to attend its investment forum at its recently expanded R&D lab facilities at Howe Street in Vancouver on December 3, 2015,” Wei Shao of Dentons LLP wrote in an email to former Minister Responsible for the Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism Teresa Wat. “As you will recall, Istuary was a very active sponsor and participant of the recent China trip that the Premier and you led.”

The documents obtained by ThinkPol show that as far back as January 2017, a BC government mandated audit carried out by KPMG raised about concerns about Istuary’s participation in the Venture Capital Tax Credit program, which allowed Istuary’s investors to claim 30% tax credit on their investments.

Upon coming into power, the NDP government promptly deregistered Istuary from the program in August 2017.

The Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology under the new minister Bruce Ralston appeared to be concerned about the cosy relationship Istuary enjoyed with high profile BC and federal politicians.

A briefing note prepared for the minister state that “…in may 2015 Amrik Virk, former Minister of Technology and Innovation and Citizens’ Services, and Yuen Pau Woo, former president of HQ Vancouver, were among dignitaries who participated in or endorsed the official opening of Istary Group’s new 12,000 sq. ft. incubation facility in downtown Vancouver.”

The new BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson did not escape the alleged Ponzi scheme’s allure.

Wilkinson endorsed after going on a trip with the company to China while serving as the Minister of Advanced education.

“It’s a pleasure to acknowledge Istuary Innovation Group as a creator of business and job opportunities for British Columbians, particularly those in the high-tech industry,” Wilkinson wrote in a letter of endorsement.

“I would also like to recognize the work of Istuary Innovation Group for helping with the exchange of British Columbian technological resources with Asia,” Wilkinson added.

So far, four investors have filed claims alleging that Istuary Investment Group CEO Yi An “Ethan” Sun and his wife Yulan “Amy” Hu have defrauded them out of $4.2 million, most of which was allegedly used by Sun and Hu for speculating in real estate in the lower mainland[1]https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-G2xjXkuEpCM0RLY3MwMVJBMHM/view?usp=sharing[2]https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-G2xjXkuEpCaktBbk9fZDdiUE0/view.

British Columbia’s 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, and has indicated that money from the sale of the director’s properties would be used to payback the workers[3]https://thinkpol.ca/2018/01/10/unpaid-tech-workers-frustrated-provinces-slow-response-istuary-scandal/.

Sun is denying all allegation claiming that he has never been in complete control of the company, and, in an amended court filing, is seeking to remove certificates of pending litigation filed against homes owned by him and his wife[4]https://thinkpol.ca/2018/01/25/istuary-ceo-denies-complete-control-companies-asks-court-remove-certificates-pending-litigation-homes/.

References   [ + ]

1. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-G2xjXkuEpCM0RLY3MwMVJBMHM/view?usp=sharing
2. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-G2xjXkuEpCaktBbk9fZDdiUE0/view
3. https://thinkpol.ca/2018/01/10/unpaid-tech-workers-frustrated-provinces-slow-response-istuary-scandal/
4. https://thinkpol.ca/2018/01/25/istuary-ceo-denies-complete-control-companies-asks-court-remove-certificates-pending-litigation-homes/