The president of a firm that was involved in buying real estate in Jacó has resigned after being ordered to do so by the British Columbia Securities Commission.
The outgoing president is Ken Chua, and the firm is Oriens Travel & Hotel Management Corp.
A British Columbia securities panel ordered that Chua resign any position he holds as an officer or a director of an issuer or registrant. He is banned from trading in securities, purchasing securities or exchange contracts and from becoming or acting as a director or officer of any issuer or registrant for six years. He is also prohibited, for the same period, from becoming or acting as a registrant or promoter, from engaging in investor relations activities, and from acting in a management or consultative capacity in connection with the securities market, the panel said.
The sanctions come after the securities panel said it found that Chua and another man distributed shares of Oriens to three British Columbia residents without filing a prospectus and for which no prospectus exemptions were available. Oriens raised proceeds of U.S. $58,500, it said.
In its sanctions decision, the panel noted that Chua, “continues to pose a risk to our investors and our markets” and that Alexander Anderson, the second man, had a limited role in the misconduct.
A.M. Cost Rica reported in July that Chua’s firm has agreed to buy an interest in half of a building at the north end of Jacó.
The statement adds that Oriens has been pre-approved for $1.2 million of financing and expects to raise additional amounts through asset-backed financing.
All the statements from Oriens have come through commercial investment public relations services. Reporters have never been able to reach Chua by telephone.
Oriens in its latest statement never mentioned British Columbia or said why Chua was leaving. A company spokesperson said, “In light of recent events, along with those changes soon to be implemented for the growth and well-being of the company, the timing for Mr. Chau’s resignation is best for both Oriens’ and its shareholders.”
It said the company soon will name a successor. There was no word of the firm’s plans for Jacó. Oriens, a Las Vegas firm, is traded on the pink sheets. Chua and Anderson were identified as British Columbia residents by the securities panel.
During its continuing announcement of projects in Jacó, Oriens said it has worked with Hundley’s Daystar Properties. Patrick Hundley, the principal in Daystar, said Sunday that his firm has no relationship with Oriens or Chua. Oriens operates an online reservation service.
In addition to being barred from the securities industry, the British Columbia panel also ordered Chua to pay to the commission the U.S. $58,500 obtained as a result of his and Oriens’ misconduct. He and Oriens are jointly and severally liable for this amount.
Furthermore, Chua was ordered to pay an administrative penalty of $35,000, the panel said.