Dan Fumano, Vancouver Sun
A Metro Vancouver man who purported to operate a “rent-to-own” real estate company that helped people purchase homes actually committed an “egregious form of fraud,” the B.C. Securities Commission has found.
Rui “Roy” Figueiredo was the sole director of Pare Realty, a Surrey company that offered to provide short-term loans to renters to help them use the funds for down payments on home purchases, according to the BCSC.
But in reality, the commission wrote in its decision, “there was no real business.”
“Figueiredo forged signatures and falsified documents to perpetuate the fraud. Figueiredo represents the upper end of risk to our capital markets,” the BCSC panel wrote. The commission’s executive director submitted that Figueiredo’s “scheme involved multiple elements of deceit (including forgery, fabricated documents, misappropriation of funds and no actual rent to own business).”
Figueiredo and his corporation are ordered to pay penalties to the commission totalling $187,875. He is also permanently banned from becoming or acting as a director of any issuer or registrant.
Pare Realty was incorporated in 2010 and dissolved in November 2013, according to the commission, and Figueiredo was also a director of a numbered corporation, 0929870 B.C. Ltd., incorporated in 2012. The suspected fraud at the centre of the BCSC’s investigation began in October 2013 when Figueiredo told a past colleague he was starting a rent-to-own realty business and presented the man with an investment opportunity.
The investor was persuaded to advance a total of $81,000 through a series of transactions to Figueiredo’s numbered corporation, which was doing business as Pare Realty, even though some of the transactions took place after Pare had already ceased to legally exist, the commission wrote, adding “it is clear from reviewing these documents that Figueiredo was using PARE and 0929870 interchangeably.”
The investor believed he was advancing funds to Figueiredo’s company for loans to supposed home purchasers, and he received promissory notes offering “substantial rates of return and maturity dates of less than one year,” the BCSC wrote.
“Instead, it was all a sham,” the BCSC panel wrote. “There is no evidence that there ever was any real business carried on by the respondents.”
Of the $81,000 the investor forwarded to Figueiredo and his companies, $23,125 was returned, the panel wrote, adding that a “review of the banking records of the respondents makes clear that the remainder of the funds were simply taken by Figueiredo and spent on personal expenses unrelated to the rent to own business. There is no evidence that (the investor’s) funds were ever provided as loans to home buyers in connection with real estate purchases.”
In one case, the investor believed he was advancing funds to support a purported home purchase by a TV personality.
Investigators obtained an affidavit from the TV personality, in which the broadcaster stated he did not know Figueiredo or his companies, he did not borrow money through the program, and “his signature, purportedly on the promissory note given to (the investor), was not made by him.”
“The loan to the TV personality was clearly a sham and the signature on the promissory note given to (the investor) was a forgery,” the BCSC wrote.
Although Figueiredo had notice of the BCSC hearing, he did not attend, tender any evidence or provide any written submissions, the commission said.
A phone number listed for Pare Realty had been disconnected before Wednesday, and emails to addresses connected with Figueiredo were not answered.
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