Scam-busting tool backed by court

Asset-freezing orders — key tools in combating financial misconduct — are constitutional, a B.C. Supreme Court justice has concluded after considering their sweeping use in an investigation into an alleged $50-million scam.

In a rare case referred for clarification of the legal issue by the attorney-general on behalf of the B.C. Securities Commission, Justice Veronica Jackson said such orders were non-intrusive and did not tread on privacy rights.

“The purpose of a Freeze Order is not to ensure property is available for further investigation, it is only to ensure property is available for payment of potential administrative penalties or disgorgement,” she wrote.

“I find, ‘the mechanism does not greatly impact privacy interests.’ As the Supreme Court of Canada has observed, in modern society regulation of activity by the state is often the means by which an individual’s pursuit of their self-interest is balanced with the community’s interest in achieving its collective goals and aspirations.”

Read The Full Article In The Vancouver Sun

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