A Provincial Court judge didn’t mince words in his decision declaring a Salmon Arm man guilty of contravening the Securities Act.
“In 2007, Mr. Good was exposed as a swindler and con artist. By that time, lying was a way of life for him and there’s no indication that he’s changed,” said Judge Mark Takahashi on March 3 in Salmon Arm court.
Takahashi was outlining whether he found the testimony of 73-year-old Richard Good, who was representing himself, believable during the trial. Good was charged with breaching a lifetime ban on engaging in investor relations and will be sentenced in May.
The charge stemmed from a settlement agreement Good consented to with the director of the BC Securities Commission in 2007.
At that time, the court heard, Good had admitted he solicited funds from investors by claiming his company had a proven performance record. Investors were told money would be invested in securities that would generate at least 15 per cent annual interest, and the principal was guaranteed.
“From the funds advanced by his clients, Good set up a scheme that used $1,177,000 to pay interest and repay capital investments to his clients, $296,000 to purchase personal items, $329,000 to pay personal bills and $129,000 Mr. Good transferred to accounts in his name or the name of his wife,” Takahashi stated.
The 2007 settlement agreement that Good consented to contained four conditions, which included a lifetime ban on engaging in investor relations activities. Tuesday’s court ruling found that in the time period in question, Dec. 2, 2012 to May 1, 2015 inclusive, Good failed to comply with the order.
Speaking to Good’s credibility, Takahashi referred to his demeanour during the trial.
“At times during this trial, Mr. Good presented himself as a confused and bumbling litigant who did not know why he had been charged or what was going on. Even though he was a person of education as a retired geologist and a former financial advisor.
“This self-presentation was belied by the sophistication of the schemes he devised…,” Takahashi said, adding that Good must have been meticulous while attending to planning, organization and misleading of his former clients, as well as having gall and “a shameless lack of concern for ethics, personal responsibility or human compassion.”
Regarding his actions between 2012 and 2015, the court heard that Good, who was permitted by the agreement to purchase securities only in one account in his own name for his own financial purpose, as well as one tax free savings account with the same parameters, gained access to his wife’s investment account with a power of attorney that she granted to him.
“The genius of the plan was that, from the outside, there would have been no indication that Mr. Good was accessing and trading on that account,” said Takahashi.
“In this trial, Mr. Good paid funds advanced by Ms. Bolton (the spouse of Good’s friend and brother-in-law) back to her to maintain the impression that he had properly invested her funds when, in fact, had invested only a small portion and converted the rest to his personal use,” continued Takahashi.
“This required the same character traits as the scam described in the agreement, except the victim was not a business acquaintance or client but the common-law wife and later the widow of his best friend.”
Good’s defences included challenging the time limitation for bringing the case to trial given that the breeches in question occurred between 2012 and 2015. The judge agreed with case law that Crown counsel Heather Magnin provided, showing the time frame was acceptable.
Judge Takahashi also stated that emails between Good and the Crown’s main witness, his brother-in-law’s spouse, proved that Good issued securities and engaged in activities to promote them.
Good also asserted that his financial transactions were not a breech of the ban because they involved a family member, so were allowed.
Takahashi disagreed, stating that Good traded in an account in his wife’s name and for financial purposes apart from his own.
“If Mr. Good believed he could trade for family and friends, then there was no reason to hide his activities with a power of attorney from his wife, so he could secretly trade on her account.”