$37M fine for Ponzi schemer who defrauded hundreds of investors

VANCOUVER -- The British Columbia Securities Commission fined a woman $37 million and banned her from the provincial capital market over a Ponzi scheme that involved hundreds of investors across North America.

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The commission says Doris Elizabeth Nelson promoted the Little Loan Shoppe to 121 investors in British Columbia who invested $19 million in what was actually a Ponzi scheme.

It has fined her $18.5 million for the money lost by investors and another $18.5 million in penalties.

Nelson, who's from Colbert, Wash., pleaded guilty in 2014 to 110 counts in a Washington court to fraud and international money laundering in the scheme that the Federal Bureau of Investigation says covered investors in Canada, the United States and Mexico.

The FBI said that Nelson claimed her business was making so much profit that she could supply investors with a 40 to 60 per cent annual return.

In 2014, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Whaley sentenced Nelson to nine years in prison for what he said was a scheme that funded a lavish lifestyle of shopping sprees, cruises, art purchases and gambling losses.



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