March 23, 2012
BCSC Executive Director’s Bulletin: Securities regulator issues notice of hearing alleging that B.C. man made false promotional statements
Vancouver – The executive director of the British Columbia Securities Commission has issued a notice of hearing alleging that a B.C. man and two companies he controls knowingly made materially false statements while promoting a purported investment on Craigslist.
The notice alleges that Samuel Richard Allaby knowingly made false statements while promoting Gaia Equity Investments, a purported company claiming to guarantee B.C. investors a risk-free monthly rate of return of up to 9.83% through investments in renewable energy projects in developing countries. Gaia is a subsidiary of Midas Group Holdings Ltd, a company incorporated by Allaby and for which he is the sole director.
BCSC staff contend that Allaby, through Midas and Gaia, deliberately created the misleading appearance that the company had engaged in substantive trading activity in securities.
In March 2011, Commission staff discovered an advertisement in the Financial Services section of Vancouver’s “Craigslist” website that promoted the Gaia investment. Gaia was contacted through its website by a BCSC investigator posing as a potential investor. Gaia responded by emailing the investigator a Gaia investment agreement form containing numerous false statements and instructions for depositing money in a bank account controlled by Allaby.
Among the numerous false statements made by Allaby, Gaia and Midas were claims that investors have committed over $4.2 billion to Gaia and enjoyed returns averaging 257% per annum since 2008; that Gaia maintained direct involvement and partial oversight in the green energy projects it invested in; and that the risk-free monthly returns were guaranteed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
These allegations have not been proven. Counsel for the executive director will apply for final orders against the parties on the same terms as the temporary order. The first hearing into the allegations before a panel of commissioners is set for April 3, 2012 at 9:00am.
The B.C. Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating trading in securities within the province. You may view the notice of hearing on our website www.bcsc.bc.ca by typing Samuel Richard Allaby, Gaia Equity Investments, Midas Group Holdings, 2012 BCSECCOM 90 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).
If you have questions, contact Richard Gilhooley, media relations, 604-899-6713. For public inquiries, call 604 899 6854 or 1 800 373 6393 (toll free).
Learn how to protect yourself and become a more informed investor at www.investright.org