The Decade-Long Deceit: Ward Derek Jensen a North Vancouver Man's Million-Dollar Betrayal Unveiled
February 8, 2024 - Reading time: 3 minutes
In a startling revelation that has sent shockwaves through the investment community, Ward Derek Jensen, a 55-year-old resident of North Vancouver. He has admitted to orchestrating a sophisticated fraud scheme that siphoned nearly US$1 million from the pockets of unsuspecting investors, many of whom considered him a friend. Over a span of ten years, Jensen's elaborate web of lies promised lucrative returns, only to leave a trail of financial ruin and broken trust.
Jensen's deceit came to a dramatic head in October 2022 when he was charged with theft, fraud, and the use of forged documents. By January 29, he found himself in North Vancouver provincial court, where he pled guilty to theft, confessing to the misappropriation of US$971,585 from nine investors who had entrusted him with a total of US$1.66 million. These funds were intended for investment in what was purported to be a private investment fund, allegedly yielding annual returns of 14 to 18 percent, and supposedly managed through Kassel Enterprises Inc., Jensen's British Columbia-based company.
The reality, however, was far from the rosy picture painted by Jensen. The B.C. Securities Commission uncovered that Jensen had funneled investor funds into his personal use and squandered hundreds of thousands on unsuccessful stock trades through his own brokerage account. To maintain the facade of a successful investment strategy, Jensen crafted forged monthly statements, falsely showing the growth of investments over time.
The tragedy of Jensen's scheme was compounded by the fact that most victims were not strangers but friends and relatives of Jensen's first investor—a close friend who, misled by Jensen's false promises, had championed the investment opportunity among his inner circle. This betrayal of trust underscores the profound personal devastation wrought by Jensen's actions, extending far beyond financial losses.
Investigation into Jensen's financial dealings revealed a chilling truth: he scarcely possessed the means to repay the principal amounts invested, much less the promised gains. By 2020, the funds available to make restitution to his victims had dwindled to less than $50,000.
Jensen's remorse has been publicly acknowledged, albeit through a private channel—a text message to his first victim expressing his regret and acknowledging the gravity of his betrayal. However, words of remorse do little to mend the financial and emotional wreckage left in his wake.
Compounding the deceit, Jensen and Kassel Enterprises Inc. operated without the necessary registration to trade securities as mandated by the B.C. Securities Act, adding a layer of illegality to their unethical practices.
As Jensen awaits his sentencing hearing on May 6, while out on bail, the case serves as a harrowing reminder of the dangers lurking in the investment world, especially when deals sound too good to be true. It highlights the vital importance of due diligence and the need for investors to verify the credentials and track records of those they entrust with their money. For the victims, the road to recovery will be long and fraught with challenges, as they grapple with the financial repercussions and the painful breach of trust from someone they once considered a friend.
David Lintott is the Editor-in-Chief, leading our team of talented freelance journalists. He specializes in covering culture, sport, and society. Originally from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, he attributes his insightful world-weariness to his roots in this unique setting.