Commission overturns TSX Venture Exchange decision to disqualify Nichols
Vancouver - A British Columbia Securities Commission panel has overturned a TSX Venture Exchange decision that disqualified a man with a history of criminal convictions from performing investor relations activities.
On June 7, 2007, the commission panel set aside the TSX-V exchange's decision that William John Nichols is unacceptable to perform investor relations activities on behalf of any Exchange-listed company and must obtain Exchange approval to do any work for a listed company.
The Exchange disqualified Nichols because of his criminal convictions in 1976 for robbery, theft, and breaking and entering, and because he initially disclosed only his first-degree murder conviction in his personal information form.
The Exchange stated that "in order to foster investor confidence in the Exchange it is prudent for the Exchange to protect its reputation by refusing to be associated with persons having such a serious criminal history as Mr. Nichols does."
The commission panel found that, in reaching its decision, the Exchange overlooked material evidence, including:
- the fact that Nichols made no attempt to conceal his first-degree murder conviction and promptly provided full information about all of his convictions when the Exchange requested more information
- Nichols' release from prison under the 'faint hope' clause, the passage of time and evidence of rehabilitation since his conviction for murder, and his past work for Exchange-listed companies
In setting aside the Exchange's decision, the commission panel said that "the Exchange could not reasonably conclude, based on the evidence before us, that it should disqualify Nichols from performing investor relations activities for listed companies."
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 in the search box, William John Nichols or 2007 BCSECCOM 319. If you have questions, contact Ken Gracey, Media Relations, 604-899-6577.