Securities regulator alleges that blog writer illegally advised investor and perpetrated a fraud
Vancouver – The Executive Director of the British Columbia Securities Commission has issued a notice of hearing alleging that a man who operated a blog and Twitter account that offered investment advice illegally advised on securities and perpetrated a fraud.
The notice alleges that beginning in 2011, Noshad Dowlati operated a blog and a Twitter account that gave general investment advice about publicly listed stocks. Dowlati identified himself as “The Shadow Trader”, and he wrote about “great plays” of the day, which included recommendations about specific stocks.
In November 2011, a follower of Dowlati’s investment blog approached him about trading stocks on the investor’s behalf. The investor gave $10,000 to Dowlati and they agreed that Dowlati:
- would receive a 7% commission on any trading profits, and
- would not continue trading if the value of the investments fell below $8,000.
BCSC staff maintains that Dowlati took $1,000 of the investor’s money and used it to pay his personal expenses, including paying his Visa bill and shopping at Starbucks, Shoppers Drug Mart, and other retail stores and restaurants. He used the remaining $9,000 to trade in penny stocks. He experienced significant trading losses and, without telling the investor, continued to trade after the value of the investments fell below $8,000, eventually losing all of the investor’s money.
The notice states that in January 2012, the same investor gave Dowlati an additional $5,000 for trading stocks. They agreed to continue the 7% rate of commission on any profits, but this time Dowlati promised that after five months he would return the investor’s total principal investment of $15,000. Dowlati used the additional $5,000 to buy penny stocks in his sister’s online trading account. He did not have authorization to trade in that account.
Dowlati proceeded to make risky trades in his sister’s online trading account, and again traded and lost all of the investor’s money within months. He did not return any of the investor’s principal.
BCSC staff alleges that Dowlati perpetrated a fraud on the investor. Staff also alleges that Dowlati has never been registered to trade or provide investment advice, and by engaging in the business of trading and advising, Dowlati breached securities laws regarding registration.
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 August 19, 2014 at 9:00am.
You may view the notice of hearing on our website, www.bcsc.bc.ca, by typing Noshad Dowlati or 2014 BCSECCOM 287 in the search box. Information about 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 of Canada (MFDA).
About the British Columbia Securities Commission (www.bcsc.bc.ca)
The British Columbia Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating capital markets in British Columbia through the administration of the Securities Act. Our mission is to protect and promote the public interest by fostering:
- A securities market that is fair and warrants public confidence
- A dynamic and competitive securities industry that provides investment opportunities and access to capital
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Richard Gilhooley, Media Relations
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