Regulatory hearing for BC lawyer facing money laundering charges in Arizona to be scheduled soon, Law Society of BC says
It has been more than 28 months since the Southern District of New York ruled that Surrey resident Faiyaz Dean had committed fraud under an illegal storage scheme commonly known as “pump and dump”.
The November 27, 2019 decision related to civil charges brought by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The court expelled Dean from penny stock trading and fined him $160,000. Dean did not attend his own trial and the court approved a default judgment.
Dean was also criminally charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud; securities fraud; conspiracy to commit money laundering; and money laundering. These charges have not been proven in court and the case has not yet been prosecuted. The US Department of Justice did not respond for comment on the case.
Meanwhile, it is understood that Dean continues to reside in Surrey, after the company issued him a citation last June. However, no hearing has been set. Company spokesman Jason Kuzminski said a pre-hearing meeting is scheduled soon.
The company charged Dean with multiple incidences of “professional misconduct or conduct unbecoming of the profession.”
The citation notes that Dean participated in the US unregistered stock sale scheme between December 2010 and June 2013, but it appears to include alleged misconduct unrelated to the US charges, including an improper transfer of US$1.1 million. .
The company says Dean worked with multiple companies between approximately November 2014 and December 2016 and “used or authorized the use of your company’s trust accounts to receive or disburse, or both, part or all of approximately US$1,100,000 and CAD$170,000”, without providing either. any legal services (as required for trusts) and/or make reasonable inquiries into the circumstances and/or record all inquiries.
Dean also failed to obtain, record and verify identifying information for these companies and certain individuals (names redacted), according to the company.
Dean voluntarily surrendered his license to the company in December 2019. A hearing panel will determine whether or not Dean did what the company alleges and what penalties, if any, he will face.
Dean remains free to practice law in Washington State, where he attended law school and remains an active member of the Washington State Bar Association; however, this would require entering the United States.
The SEC determined that the 2013 pump and dump generated $34 million in illicit profits by selling stocks to retail investors at inflated prices. Dean would have benefited from $120,000 for his part. The SEC reported in 2018 that it was able to locate $16 million in US accounts and return them to harmed investors.
The SEC complaint outlined how Dean provided the necessary legal framework for the scheme by helping to conceal the beneficial ownership of the shares held by the so-called “masterminds” of the scheme, Francisco Abellan Villena and Guillermo Ciupiak. Dean also helped set up bank and brokerage accounts in the names of Argentine candidates which were used to sell Biozoom shares. The accounts were located in Belize, Cyprus, St. Vincent and the British Virgin Islands. At the heart of the alleged scheme was how Dean created a shell company with 59.7 million shares that later became Biozoom.
Dean graduated from Seattle University Law School in 2003. Prior to being called to the British Columbia Bar in February 2009, Dean articled with the Bacchus Law Group of Vancouver.
Dean went on to set up his own firm, Dean Law Corp., in Seattle and Vancouver, where he claims to specialize in setting up IPOs and reverse mergers for young start-ups.
Dean could not be reached for comment.