The Civil Forfeiture Office (CFO) obtains forfeiture of property, as either proceeds of unlawful activity and/or as an instrument of unlawful activity.
The purpose of the office and the legislation is to:
- Make crime unprofitable
- Capture resources tainted by crime to make them unavailable for future crime, and
- To compensate individuals for the cost of past crime and fund crime prevention programs
Sometimes an individual will qualify as an eligible victim, which is a defined term in the Civil Forfeiture Act. It means a person who “suffered pecuniary loss as a direct result of an unlawful activity that resulted in forfeiture under this act of property or the whole or a portion of an interest in property.”
This includes individuals who have been impacted by the fraudulent activities of others when that led to the acquisition of wealth (typically stock/securities fraud), but may also include someone injured by a motor vehicle if the vehicle was subsequently forfeited by the CFO. The CFO will run a compensation program when there is reason to believe that there may be eligible victims who can apply for compensation.
If you have been impacted by a crime such as a stock or security fraud, you should contact the B.C. Securities Commission. Their legislation allows them to freeze money and pay compensation to victims.
If you are a victim, immediate family member, or a witness to a crime who has been injured physically or emotionally, you may be eligible for financial assistance or benefits to help with costs and your recovery. Victim service workers can help you apply through VictimLinkBC which offers financial assistance with some of the costs and services needed to assist in recovering from or coping with the effects of the trauma.
Details of any compensation programs being run by the Civil Forfeiture Office, as well as applications, can be found on this page when there is a program open to accepting claims.
To date, the CFO has paid out just over $1.3 Million in victim compensation.
Victims of the following forfeiture actions have been paid compensation:
- Director v $4,270,000 CAD and Jensen, Habitat, Vanguard et al.
- Director and $22,600 CAD