Surrey woman gets 30 days in jail for avoiding court hearing over $200K debt

Securities commission says Renee Michelle Penko still owes fines relating to Ponzi scheme

A Surrey woman has been sent to jail for 30 days after she failed to attend a court hearing during the B.C. Securities Commission’s “efforts to collect her outstanding fines,” the commission says.

Renee Michelle Penko was ordered by the BCSC in 2016 to pay an administrative penalty of $40,000 and to pay back $155,000, according to a release from the BCSC on Wednesday (Jan. 9).

The BCSC says Penko has not paid her fines, despite “persistent” efforts to collect them.

A collection order “ resulted in no assets” and BCSC said it also scheduled an examination in aid, which is to obtain information about the debtor’s ability to pay the judgment. Penko didn’t attend the examination in aid, BCSC said.

A subpoena to debtor – a collection step that requires debtors to provide information about their financial situation and can lead to a court-ordered payment plan – was issued to Penko on Nov. 6, 2018 but Penko failed to attend the subpoena to debtor hearing.

She was then required to appear in court on Dec. 4, but she did not show up. It was then that BCSC said it acquired an apprehension order but on Dec. 31, Penko “surrendered to the court.”

A judge, G.C. Weatherill, found Penko to be in contempt and sentenced her to 30 days in jail on Dec. 31 at the Supreme Court of Canada Vancouver courthouse. The court also ordered Penko to appear in New Westminster on Jan. 30.

BCSC says Penko, a former registrant, was a finder to recruit investors in a fraud operated by Thomas Arthur Williams, a former registrant permanently banned for fraud by a BCSC panel. Williams was ordered in 2016 to pay penalties totalling $21.8 million for defrauding more than 120 people out of millions of dollars.

RELATED: No way to make Ponzi fraudster repay B.C. victims, Sept. 1, 2016

In the BCSC’s 2016 sanctions, in addition to issuing fines, the securities commission “imposed conditions on (Penko’s) registration, prohibited her from purchasing or trading in securities, acting in management or consultative capacity in connection with the activities in the securities market, and engaging in investor relations activities, all with exceptions.”

BCSC also said Penko was ordered to resign from any position she holds as a director or officer of any issuer or registrant.” Penko’s “bans and supervisions” will remain in effect until Aug. 17, 2020. However, if she doesn’t pay it back by that date, her bans and supervisions will remain in effect until she pays.

The B.C. Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating capital markets in B.C. through the administration of the Securities Act.



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

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