June 4, 2003
– The B.C. Securities Commission has reached a settlement with the two principals behind the issuance of over $13-million of securities for Securities Act breaches that include not resolving conflicts of interest and selling unsuitable investments to clients, including interests in a cattle ranch in northern B.C.
Under the settlement, Mark Cramer and his son, Michael Cramer, were ordered to each pay the commission $37,500. They also were barred from trading securities for 12 years, except for their personal accounts. Should they sell securities they must turn over the proceeds to the commission, up to $250,000. They are also severely limited in engaging in investor relations activities and acting as an officer or director of a business.
The Cramers were the directors and registered representatives at the securities dealer IDF Financial Services Incorporated in Prince George, B.C. They admitted selling clients securities when their personal interests conflicted with their duties to clients. These conflicts arose because they were the “directing minds” behind issuers whose securities they were selling to clients.
Further, the pair admitted that they participated in illegal distributions of these securities and that these securities were unsuitable for clients, given the clients’ risk tolerance and investment goals.
They also agreed they made misrepresentations in selling securities to clients, for example, in the younger Cramer’s case, he claimed that some securities would become publicly traded on a stock exchange when that listing was not yet a certainty.
In making the orders against the pair in the settlement, the executive director took certain mitigating factors under consideration, including that the pair are insolvent.
The pair was among 10 individuals who worked at IDF named in a notice of hearing issued in 2001. Seven IDF brokers settled with the commission in August 2001, made payments to the commission and agreed to strict supervision if they seek registration to sell securities in B.C. again. An eighth broker settled with the commission in May 2003.
The BC Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating trading in securities in the province. Copies of the settlement and related documents can be viewed at the commission’s website www.bcsc.bc.ca
or by contacting Media Relations Officer Andrew Poon at (604) 899-6880.
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