BCSC panel fines and permanently bans two men for market manipulation
Vancouver - A British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) panel has fined and permanently banned David Tuan Seng Lim and Michael Mugford from B.C.'s capital markets for market manipulation.
Lim, a Vancouver resident, was an investment advisor who was registered under the Securities Act during the relevant period. Mugford was a Lions Bay, B.C. resident, who was a client and business associate of Lim.
The panel found that Lim and Mugford engaged in a market manipulation by creating an artificial share price for a company called Urban Barns from November 2009 to February 2010.
The panel found that the respondents paid or assisted in paying a third party to run a tout sheet publishing campaign to promote the company's shares, which resulted in the artificial price. In its findings decision, the panel described the tout sheets as "grossly promotional" and "designed to trick the reader into believing that the Urban Barns shares were worth far more than they really were."
For Lim's and Mugford's misconduct, the panel ordered that they both resign any position they hold as a director or officer of any issuer or registrant. They are both permanently banned from trading in or purchasing securities (with limited exceptions), becoming or acting as a director or officer of any issuer or registrant (with limited exceptions for Lim only), becoming or acting as a registrant or promoter, acting in a management or consultative capacity in connection with activities in the securities market, and engaging in investor relations.
In its sanctions decision, the panel noted that "Lim played a far more significant role than Mugford in carrying out the 'pump and dump' manipulation of the Urban Barns shares" and that "sanctions must reflect the differing contributions."
Lim has been ordered to pay to the Commission an administrative penalty of $800,000. Mugford has been ordered to pay to the Commission an administrative penalty of $375,000.
You may view the sanctions decision on our website, www.bcsc.bc.ca, by typing David Tuan Seng Lim, Michael Mugford or 2017 BCSECCOM 319 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' (CSA) Disciplined List for information relating to persons and companies 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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