March 6, 2012
Commission panel sanctions B.C. lawyer for trading on insider information
Vancouver – A British Columbia Securities Commission panel has sanctioned a B.C. lawyer who breached securities laws when he purchased securities in a mining company that was engaged in an acquisition.
Kjeld Werbes purchased shares of Global Uranium Corp. with knowledge of the company’s acquisition of a mining property before that information was made public.
In March 2010, Global retained Werbes to draft the acquisition agreement. The acquisition was disclosed on April 16, 2010. Werbes purchased 20,000 Global shares on April 14.
Werbes admitted that his purchase contravened the prohibition in the Securities Act against illegal insider trading.
The panel noted that although his conduct was careless rather than intentional, “Werbes failed to meet the expectation that securities lawyers who become privy to undisclosed material information in the course of representing public companies will not trade on that information, no matter what.”
The panel ordered that Werbes cease trade in, and be prohibited from purchasing, any securities or exchange contracts of any company with whom he is in a special relationship for one year.
The panel also ordered Werbes to pay an administrative penalty of $25,000.
The B.C. Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating trading in securities within the province. You may view the decision on our website, www.bcsc.bc.ca, by typing Kjeld Werbes or 2012 BCSECCOM 69 in the search box. Information regarding disciplinary proceedings can be found in the Enforcement section of the BCSC website.
Please visit the Canadian Securities Administrators’ Disciplined Persons List for information relating to persons disciplined by provincial securities regulators, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association (MFDA).
For media enquiries, contact Richard Gilhooley, media relations, 604-899-6713. For public enquiries, call 604 899 6854 or 1 800 373 6393 (toll free).
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