BCSC panel sanctions two men for facilitating the secret promotion of securities
Vancouver – A British Columbia Securities Commission panel has fined and permanently banned a tout sheet publisher from B.C.’s capital markets for making misrepresentations and other misleading statements when promoting three companies traded on the Over-the-Counter-Bulletin-Board (OTCBB) in the United States. The panel also sanctioned the managing director of a Swiss company for facilitating secret payments to the tout sheet publisher in connection with one of the promotions.
In July 2014, a commission panel found that between October 2009 and July 2010, Colin Robert Hugh McCabe, of Abbotsford, B.C., featured three OTCBB-listed companies in his Elite Stock Report tout sheet. The panel said that McCabe “wrote and published grossly misleading reports while acting on retainer from third parties without knowing, or even inquiring, as to the parties’ interest in the promotion, or its purpose.” The panel found that this amounted to egregious conduct contrary to the public interest.
In the same decision, the panel found that Erwin Thomas Speckert engaged in conduct contrary to the public interest by facilitating secret payments to McCabe, and knowingly concealing the relationship between McCabe and the third parties behind the payments. Speckert, a resident of Minden, Ontario and Zurich, Switzerland, is the managing director of a Swiss company called Everest Asset Management.
In its sanctions decision, the panel stated that both McCabe and Speckert pose serious risks to B.C.’s capital markets. Of McCabe’s misconduct, the panel wrote, “His failure to understand that his actions constituted serious misconduct shows a fundamental lack of judgment which, when combined with the nature of his misconduct, poses a serious risk to investors and our markets.” In characterizing Speckert’s ongoing threat to investors, the panel wrote that, “Speckert’s actions in arranging for, and facilitating the funding of, egregious touting has no place in our capital markets and poses a risk to investors and our markets.”
McCabe was ordered to pay to the commission the $2,776,993 obtained as a result of his misconduct, as well as an administrative penalty of $1.5 million. The panel also ordered that McCabe resign any position he holds as an officer of a director of an issuer or registrant. He is permanently banned from trading in securities, purchasing securities or exchange contracts, and from becoming or acting as a director or officer of any issuer or registrant (with limited exceptions). He is also permanently prohibited from becoming or acting as a registrant or promoter, from engaging in investor relations activities, and from acting in a management or consultative capacity in connection with the securities market.
The panel ordered that Speckert resign any position he holds as an officer of a director of an issuer or registrant. He is banned from trading in securities, purchasing securities or exchange contracts (with limited exceptions), and from becoming or acting as a director or officer of any issuer or registrant for five years. He is also prohibited, for the same period, from becoming or acting as a registrant or promoter, from engaging in investor relations activities, and from acting in a management or consultative capacity in connection with the securities market.
You may view the sanctions decision on our website www.bcsc.bc.ca by typing Colin Robert Hugh McCabe, Erwin Thomas Speckert, or 2014 BCSECCOM 512 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).
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)
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