Real estate financier accused of fraud in Chilliwack project has hearing at B.C. Securities Commission
By Tyler Olsen - for The Province
A real estate financier accused of using investors’ money to purchase a home and buy his wife a $24,000 diamond ring will appear Monday before the B.C. Securities Commission for the start of a hearing that could see him banned from the B.C. investment industry.
As president of three companies, Rodney Jack Wharram raised millions of dollars from investors.
The money was supposed to be lent to the developers of homes at The Falls Resort, a golf course development on the outskirts of Chilliwack. Instead, the BCSC alleges, Wharram committed fraud by using some of the funds for himself.
The BCSC, which oversees securities trading in B.C., says Wharram raised $9.3 million from investors between 2007 and 2010, but that less than half that money was forwarded to the home developers.
The BCSC alleges Wharram gave his wife $240,000 to invest in a grocery store and put at least $200,000 towards the purchase of the couple’s home.
The allegations have not been proven and Wharram has never been charged in criminal court.
The BCSC also claims that when the developer of The Falls Resort went bankrupt in 2011, Wharram sold a claim to money owed to one of his companies and used the proceeds to pay his mortgage and to restore his father’s jeep.
Wharram is also accused of lying to investigators last year. During interviews last March, the BCSC says, Wharram told investigators that he had stopped soliciting money from investors.
But he’s alleged to have raised at least $450,000 in the first four months of 2013, the majority after he was interviewed by the BCSC.
Wharram’s hearing is expected to wrap up late next week. The proceedings are administrative, meaning that Wharram can only be fined and barred from trading.