BCSC panel fines and permanently bans North Vancouver man and two U.S. citizens for market manipulation
Vancouver – A British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) panel has fined Mark Aaron McLeary, Robert Hainey, and Jerry Williams for engaging in market manipulation of shares in a company quoted on the U.S. Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB). The panel also permanently banned each of them from B.C.’s capital markets.
In January 2015, the panel found that between June 15 and July 6, 2009, McLeary, Hainey, and Williams manipulated the share price of Sungro Minerals Corp., a Nevada corporation that originally had its head office in Surrey, B.C. McLeary is a resident of North Vancouver. Hainey and Williams both reside in the U.S.
The panel found that Sungro’s publicly available shares were tightly controlled. McLeary knew this, and told Hainey, who told Williams. Williams is a stock picker who, with Hainey’s assistance, promoted Sungro shares on online message boards he moderated. McLeary directed the selling of Sungro seed shareholders’ shares that were purchased primarily by message board members.
In its sanctions decision, the panel highlighted the need for significant sanctions due to the severity of the misconduct: “Market manipulation by its very nature involves deceit. Because of this, we consider McLeary’s, Hainey’s or Williams’ continued participation in British Columbia’s capital markets would pose a significant ongoing risk to both investors and capital markets.”
The panel ordered that the respondents resign any positions held as a director or officer of an issuer or registrant (with limited exceptions), and permanently prohibited them from trading in, or purchasing, securities or exchange contracts. The panel also permanently banned them from becoming or acting as a director or officer of any issuer or registrant (with limited exceptions), becoming or acting as a registrant or promoter, engaging in investor relations activities, and acting in a management or consultative capacity in connection with the securities market.
The panel also ordered that McLeary pay to the BCSC the $91,308.56 obtained as a result of his misconduct, as well as an administrative penalty of $800,000. Both Hainey and Williams were each ordered to pay administrative penalties of $700,000.
You may view the sanctions decision on our website www.bcsc.bc.ca by typing Mark Aaron McLeary, Robert Hainey, Jerry Williams, or 2015 BCSECCOM 281 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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