Tory candidate-led organization green lit fraudster as immigrant visa provider despite whistleblower warnings of immigration and Ponzi scams

An industry association headed by a Conservative candidate at the upcoming federal election recommended an alleged fraudster as a provider of immigrant visas despite whistleblowers alleging that the company was running a Ponzi scheme and committing immigration fraud.

Vancouver Granville Conservative candidate Kailin Che served as the executive director of the now-defunct Canadian Acceleration & Business Incubation (CABI), which was responsible for vetting and recommending incubators for Canada’s startup visa program[1]

One incubator that Che’s association approved was the now-bankrupt Istuary Investment Group[2]

Former employees of Istuary Investment Group claim that they raised the alarm in 2016 that CEO Ethan Sun was asking for money from foreign workers hired in Vancouver as an opportunity to obtain permanent residency under the BC Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) in exchange for “investments” into Istuary.

“Ethan Sun targeted recent graduates on post-graduate work permits who come from wealthy families,” one former employee said. “Sun boasted about how he was friends with BC Liberal leader Christy Clark. He showed them Christy Clark’s hand-written notes thanking him.”

BC provincial nominations became highly prized after Clark’s government exempted provincial nominees from the foreign property buyer tax[3]

Despite the warnings, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration designated Istuary Idea Labs Inc, part of the Istuary Group, as a designated incubator for the startup visa program on August 19, 2017, even while litigation against the company was pending[4]

When asked for comment, IRCC confirmed that Istuary was recommended to the department by Canadian Acceleration and Business Incubation Association(CABI).

Reviews on employer rating site Glassdoor shows that employees have been raising red flags about Istuary being a Ponzi scheme as far back as 2015.

“Yes, this is indeed a very “innovative” form of fraud! At least in Canada!” one reviewer claims[5] “They take advantage of well-known political and business organizations to boost their reputation.”

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 of $4.2 million, most of which was allegedly used by Sun and Hu for speculating in real estate in the lower mainland[6][7]

All of the investors allege that Ethan Sun promised to return them five times the principal within two years.

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 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 was 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 were auctioned off on December 14[8]

We reached out to CABI’s executive director Kailin Che when the news of the Istuary scandal first broke, but she refused to respond to our queries.
Che’s main competitor for Vancouver Granville is Liberal candidate Taleeb Noormohamed, who has denied being a speculator despite flipping 21 properties since 2005.

The NDP candidate in the riding is environmentalist Anjali Appadurai.

Jody Wilson-Raybould, who won the seat as an independent in 2019 after being expelled from the Liberal Party, is not seeking reelection.

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