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Downtown Eastside 'social justice' developer committed fraud, panel rules

Cherie White of Kingdom Investments 2015 Inc. committed fraud by misappropriating investors' money from a house-flipping arrangement she advertised between 2016 and 2019.
A picture of Cherie White from the Kingdom Investments' Facebook page.

A Vancouver woman who says her main goal as a real estate developer is to “end poverty for families in the [Downtown Eastside]” committed investment fraud and illegally sold securities, a B.C. Securities Commission panel found on Jan. 15.

Cherie Evangeline White solicited nearly $1.2 million from 24 investors, promising upwards of 30 per cent annual returns on real estate portfolios between 2016 and 2019. However, she used early investors’ money to pay out newer investors and also used investor money to pay off personal loans, the panel found in its administrative decision.

White solicited investments through her company Kingdom Investments (2015 Inc.). Kingdom offered to take people’s money and generate those lofty returns from fixing and flipping and buying and holding properties. At least one property White provided tours for was in Abbotsford. Another project name was “Trafalgar.”

According to the online description of Kingdom found in the panel’s written decision, the company was founded by White “out of the frustration for inadequate housing for those coming out of an addiction and/or in recovery.”

White purported to use the power of real estate to “empower individuals.”

Kingdom’s name “comes from a faith perspective of an ‘upside down Kingdom,’” the website claimed.

The panel found investors lost money but the decision does not state how much.

White did admit to investors she used money to repay investors with funds from earlier investors: “It was at the beginning of my career when I didn’t know that you weren’t allowed to do that,” she told investigators.

Aside from fraud, the panel also found White, and Kingdom distributed securities illegally by not filing a prospectus document. The document outlines what the investment will be used for nor a prospectus exemption, which allows a person to solicit funds from accredited investors, who may be close friends or business associates of the soliciting person or someone with substantial assets and income.

White also obstructed justice by refusing to provide the commission with information “reasonably required” for the investigation that resulted in testimony from five investors.

She told investigators in a compelled interview on Dec. 8, 2020 that it was “a waste of my time” to provide Kingdom’s investment documents.

More recently, White appears to be operating Steadfast Developments as a "Social Justice Land Developer," which maintains an online presence but whose contact phone number is no longer in use.

On Facebook, White wrote, on Jan. 17, 2021, “Steadfast Developments is a wholistic, social impact land development company that not only focuses on affordable, sustainable, community housing, but also looks at ending poverty in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, BC, Canada through social enterprise, education, health and welfare, and the arts.”

“As the CEO and founder of Steadfast Developments Cherie’s main goal is to end poverty for families in the DTES through a proven 6 stream strategy by other revitalization masters from around the world,” the website states.

White is expected to face a disciplinary hearing in the near future where she could face penalties ranging from restrictions on investment activity and monetary penalties and repayment orders.

Administrative findings are determined on a balance of probabilities, unlike criminal ones which bear a higher standard of proof in court. The commission says it forwards cases to police or recommends charges to the BC Prosecution Service where it sees fit; however, it does not disclose such proceedings publicly.

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