Surrey man sentenced to 27 months in jail for Ponzi scheme

Roberto Castano has also been ordered to pay $1.5 million in restitution.

  • Aug. 19, 2016 6:00 a.m.

Victoria courthouse.

Chuck Chiang, Vancouver Sun

SURREY — A Surrey man arrested in 2012 for running a Ponzi scheme has been sentenced to 27 months in prison, officials said.

The B.C. Supreme Court also ordered Roberto Castano to pay $1.5 million in restitution. Castano, who was charged in 2012, pleaded guilty to one count of fraud over $5,000 in February.

The court was told that Castano was arrested on April 2, 2012 by the B.C. Securities Commission’s criminal investigations team and the Surrey RCMP. He was charged with 10 counts of fraud over $5,000 and 10 counts of theft over $5,000.

Investigators say they began looking into Castano’s operations in 2009, when an unnamed financial institution alerted the Commission that the man was raising money through his company, Skyline Communications, to invest in the stock market.

During the three-year investigation, officials said they found Castano was running a Ponzi scheme, promising investors a five-per-cent-per-month return on their investment through stock market trading. Instead, Castano used some of the funds to repay principal repayments and pay interest to previous investors, as well as for personal expenses.

The restitution is to be paid to seven of Castano’s former investors, the court said.

chchiang@postmedia.com

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