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Live documentary 'Victim Impact' explores Rashida Samji Ponzi scheme

Photo Chris Randle Catch the world premiere of Theatre Conspiracy's new production, Victim Impact, in June. The live documentary investigates the mysterious aspects of the Rashida Samji fraud scheme that devastated the South Asian community in B.C.
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 Photo Chris RandlePhoto Chris Randle

Catch the world premiere of Theatre Conspiracy's new production, Victim Impact, in June.

The live documentary investigates the mysterious aspects of the Rashida Samji fraud scheme that devastated the South Asian community in B.C.

Samji was a former Vancouver notary that ran a $110 million Ponzi scheme leading investors to believe that their money was invested in a winery's expansion to South Africa and South America.

She was found guilty of 14 counts of fraud relating to 284 investors and companies and sentenced to six years in prison in 2016. Samji was ordered to pay restitution of over $10 million to her victims.

Victim Impact looks at the fallout for those family and friends that were sucked into the vortex of civil and criminal trials. Most of the victims were retirees and a high proportion are members of the South Surrey Asian community.

Trust and betrayal are huge themes that are explored in the play, according to director Jiv Parasram.

Parasram says the play features composite characters of the victims and examines how white-collar crime has an effect on a larger community.

"We are layering in elements of film noir to amplify the mystery aspects and elements of absurdity towards the way that we're telling the actual real events that happened in court," he says.

 Photo Chris RandlePhoto Chris Randle

Parasram is the artistic producer at Pandemic Theatre, the associate artistic producer at Theatre Passe Muraille and recently received the Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artists Award.

Nimet Kanji plays Rashida Samji and is joined by Jenn Griffin, Risha Nanda, Allan Morgan and Munish Sharma, all in multiple roles.

Victim Impact is written by Theatre Conspiracy’s artistic director Tim Carlson in association with Playwrights Theatre Centre’s Kathleen Flaherty, visuals designer Milton Lim and sound designer David Mesiha, who all worked together on the hit show Foreign Radical.

There is also an ongoing podcast series called Victim Impact: The Fraudcast available at conspiracy.caiTunesSoundCloud and Stitcher.

Victim Impact runs from June 8 to 17 at The Historic Theatre at The Cultch and tickets are available online.

 Risha Nanda Photo by Chris RandleRisha Nanda Photo by Chris Randle