Save the Date for the Alberta Securities Commission: August 13, 2018

It’s been a long time, but hey, we’ve been busy retooling our life from deaf, to #deafnotdeaf. Mrs. Solagratia’s Cochlear implant is a miracle and we’re just overjoyed and under-grateful. There just isn’t enough gratitude.

The funny thing about Cochlear Implants is that you mark your life by calendar dates. For example, candidacy day (the day you find out if you get a CI or not) was October 5. Implant surgery was December 12. Activation was January 29. Each date has its own moments, anxieties, and story.

The ABC District and by Extension LCC has a red-letter date its own: August 13, 2018. That’s the day the Alberta Securities Commission is going to hold a hearing because, the ASC says…

“1. Staff of the Commission allege that the Respondents breached Alberta securities laws in connection with a long-term, large-scale investment program. The program generally was designed to provide a means for church members to invest and earn interest on funds by pooling and loaning them to Lutheran churches and schools for capital improvement projects. However, while  representing the investments to be safe, diversified, and “guaranteed”, the Respondents placed the overwhelming majority of the invested funds into a high-risk, loan-defaulting, speculative land development project without appropriate disclosure to investors. The program and the corporate Respondents collapsed financially in early 2015, with court protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) being sought and granted.

2. Staff allege that the long pattern of positive representations, without including necessary risk related disclosures, amounted to misleading statements. The Respondents knew or ought to have  known that the information withheld from investors was material, and meant that the statements which had been made were misleading. The Respondents knew or ought to have known that the price or value of the securities in issue was dramatically affected by the non-disclosures.

3. Investors in the program have lost many millions of dollars as a result of its collapse, with the exact value not yet determined. In recognition of investors’ losses and in order not to deplete assets  that may be available in ongoing CCAA proceedings, Staff will seek no monetary administrative penalties against the corporate Respondents.”

So, in spite of the many protestations of being nice people, the Alberta Securities Commission alleges ABC District breached securities laws and mislead church members/depositors. In order NOT to cause more loss to the investors, the ASC isn’t going to go after money from District. Which is nice. It’s more than District or Synod have ever done for depositors in meaningful terms (any defence to the contrary is silly because…well…the ASC says “breached securities laws,” and depositors are suing District, so there’s that.

As is the way in LCC, the gospel will take the back seat; lawyers and the courts will have the final say.

Click here for the entire Alberta Securities Commission Document

The End is Nigh

ABC District’s CCAA (bankruptcy protection) is nearing its end. On January 5, 2015 ABC District declare itself in a “sufficient cash flow shortage.” That particular baffle-gab (re: bullshit) was the first volley in a series of misses and misdirections from Distrct and Synod leadership when the insolvency was announced. Of course it only took a couple of weeks for District and Synod to put a clamp on communications and rig for silent running.

Great Moments in LCC History

ABC District had the biggest news to share but it barely got a line and a link. In fact, ABC Connect, the District’s newsletter, doesn’t even mention specifically what the news is. But it’s huge and historical. Naturally we’re skipping over it as best we can.

On October 25, 2017, a federal court lifted the stay of proceedings in place since January 2015. The stay of proceedings is a legal instrument in bankruptcy protection so creditors can’t sue debtors until their finances are in place.

Now, it turns out, ABC District’s finances are in place.

Document: Court Order Lifting CCAA Stay of Proceedings

So, this Reformation Day, we can be reminded that the courts had to intervene and manage the church’s financial affairs, which were a disaster. The administrative situation was equally grim. Grim enough to go from a staff of 14 to a staff of 3. This is church growth LCC style: make huge mistakes, don’t own up to them, and then definitely don’t act to correct the errors.

Yes, we have confirmation that church members can sue the church. Let the lawsuits begin. Happy Reformation Day, courtesy of LCC and ABC District.

Review Task Force Report – Conclusion – Pages 99-101

In early 2015, the ABC District Board of Directors initiated a Task Force to identify factors contributing to the CEF crisis. The scope of the Task Force mandate was broad and complex. It included analyzing not only financial and legal, but also underlying cultural, structural, and procedural principles and practices that helped set the stage for the current crisis. The Review Task Force said, “Identifying, understanding, and addressing these is vital to help our church walk wisely into the future.” These are pages 99 to 101, and the end of the report.