News Release

BCSC alleges that Vancouver man structured business affairs to evade securities regulations

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Vancouver – The executive director of the British Columbia Securities Commission has issued a notice of hearing alleging that the director and sole executive officer of a Nevada corporation knowingly made false statements to commission staff and structured his business in order to evade B.C. securities regulations.

The notice states that on July 14, 2008, BCSC staff sent a letter to inform Independence Energy Corp. that the company’s significant connections to B.C. meant that it would be subject to reporting requirements in B.C. unless it could demonstrate the requirements did not apply.

On September 15, 2008, Independence responded by claiming that its head office had been recently relocated to Calgary, Alberta, and that B.C.’s rules governing Over-the-Counter (OTC) reporting issuers did not apply to Independence. Additionally, Bruce Thomson, a director and the sole executive officer of Independence, claimed to be a resident of Calgary.

Staff alleges that Independence’s representations to the BCSC were false, as Thomson had structured his affairs to create the false appearance that he and Independence were conducting business from Calgary. Staff alleges that Thomson:

  • arranged to sublease a Calgary office that he never used and did not pay rent for
  • arranged for Independence’s mail that was delivered to a Calgary address to be forwarded to his residence in Vancouver, B.C.
  • arranged for someone to take phone calls for Independence in Calgary, and then relay messages to him in Vancouver
  • starting in 2008, gave false Calgary business and residential addresses to U.S. securities regulators

Staff maintains that by structuring his affairs to evade B.C. regulations, Thomson harmed the reputation and credibility of the province’s securities market. Furthermore, by providing staff with information that in a material respect is false or misleading, and by failing to file the periodic disclosure required of companies reporting in B.C., Independence breached securities laws. 

On June 20, 2012, Independence was cease-traded in B.C. for its ongoing failure to comply with its filing obligations.

These allegations have not been proven. Counsel for the executive director will apply to set dates for a hearing into the allegations before a panel of commissioners on July 9, 2013 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 by typing Bruce Thomson, Independence Energy Corp., or 2013 BCSECCOM 191 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 inquiries, please contact Richard Gilhooley, media relations, 604-899-6713. For public inquiries, please call 604 899 6854 or 1 800 373 6393 (toll free).

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