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Man caught driving in Burnaby without licence also accused of brokering mortgages without licence

Justin Phu Pham was described as a mortgage broker at a sentencing hearing in Vancouver provincial court last week, but the agency that regulates mortgage brokers in B.C. said his registration expired in 2016.

Justin Phu Pham is not a mortgage broker, according to the BC Financial Services Authority, but that’s how his lawyer described him at a sentencing hearing in Vancouver provincial court last Thursday.

Pham pleaded guilty to one count of driving without a licence in Burnaby on Sept. 5, 2022 and was handed a $300 fine and a six-month driving ban.

Burnaby RCMP had pulled Pham over during a roadblock on Sumner Avenue at about 4:45 a.m., and he was unable to produce a driver’s licence, according to information presented by Crown prosecutor Ariel Bultz at the Sept. 7 hearing.

Pham was originally charged with the more serious offence of driving while prohibited but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge.

He also faced criminal charges for personation and wilfully resisting or obstructing a police officer, as well as another charge of driving without a licence, in relation to an incident on Oct. 26, 2021, but those charges were stayed at the end of the hearing as part of a plea deal.

“He has a number, I see, of similar offences,” B.C. provincial court Judge Kathryn Denhoff noted.

“Quite a number, your Honour, a fairly lengthy driving record,” Bultz said.

Pham’s lawyer, Edward Cooper, said the province’s family maintenance enforcement program had taken his client’s driver’s licence away after he fell behind on child support payments.

But Cooper said he didn’t have a “good explanation” for why Pham was again driving without a licence last September.

After handing down her sentence, Denhoff gave Pham a stern warning.

“You have to know that if you get another conviction for driving without a driver’s licence or driving while prohibited, the penalty’s going to be much greater,” she said. “You’re going to have a longer period of suspension; you may face jail.”

Cooper said Pham was a mortgage broker, but the BC Financial Services Authority told the NOW his registration expired in 2016.

He has twice been investigated by the authority for conducting mortgage-broker activity without being registered, according to the BCFSA.

He was the subject of a disciplinary hearing in April.

A decision on the hearing is pending.

Follow Cornelia Naylor on Twitter @CorNaylor
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