A B.C. man who committed fraud 63 times may not be allowed to renew his driver’s licence as a penalty for failing to pay any amount of the $7.6 million he has owed for over four years.
A B.C. Securities Commission panel made the final decision June 10, exercising a recent power it acquired to request ICBC not renew or issue a driver’s licence for someone who hasn’t fully paid a sanction imposed against them.
Paul Se Hui Oei was ordered to pay $7.6 million in December 2017, after the securities commission found him guilty of defrauding 19 investors between 2009 and 2013. The panel ordered him to repay investors the more than $5 million he had stolen, $2 million of which he had already returned, and pay an administrative penalty of $4.5 million.
He was also issued a permanent market ban.
Since then, the securities commission says another party has paid back $69,887, but Oei himself has yet to pay a dollar.
In March 2021, the securities commission gained its new driver’s licence penalty power, and in August it sent a letter to Oei notifying him it would be advising ICBC not to renew or issue him a licence.
Oei pushed back though.
He said he required a licence so he could be an emergency driver for his 84-year-old father-in-law who has health issues, and his 11-year-old daughter. Oei said his wife works full time and isn’t always available to drive.
He also argued he hasn’t been able to repay investors or pay his fines because he is on the edge of bankruptcy. He provided T4 statements showing he made $6,985.58 in 2020 and $12,448.84 in 2021, and added the only reason he hasn’t filed for bankruptcy is because he can’t afford the proceedings. He said losing his licence would make it harder for him to acquire work and pay the fines.
The securities commission’s executive director opposed Oei’s application, arguing it is in the public interest to impose further penalties on him, that an inconvenience to his family is not reason enough not to, and that Oei failed to prove how a lack of licence would limit job opportunities.
In their June 10 decision, the panel agreed with the executive director. They pointed out that because Oei didn’t have a car of his own, if his father-in-law was in medical need Oei would need to first make his way over without a vehicle before borrowing his father-in-law’s car to get him to the hospital. An ambulance, the panel said, would likely be faster. They added Oei hadn’t provided evidence that his daughter has specific medical needs.
The panel further pointed out that Oei hadn’t attempted to enter into a payment agreement, which could allow him to keep his licence, and that he continued to portray himself as the victim.
“…the Applicant continues to show no remorse or responsibility for his role in the fraud and misappropriation in this matter and, through his own acts and words, makes clear that he has failed to accept the original findings and decision of the panel,” the panel wrote in their decision.
They added that the more than $7 million owed by Oei far exceeds the $3,000 minimum threshold set out for the driver’s licence penalty.
The securities commission will go through with its request to ICBC.