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Mar 18, 2021
CALGARY – March 18, 2021 – The Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) has sanctioned Cem (Jim) Can, Charles Michael Miller and Bluforest Inc. for breaching Alberta securities laws.
In a decision released in August 2020, an ASC panel found that Can and Miller, as Bluforest's guiding minds, engaged in a deliberate course of conduct that perpetrated a fraud through a pump and dump scheme. The panel also found that Bluforest made misrepresentations and that Can illegally distributed securities to Alberta investors and engaged in a course of conduct that resulted in or contributed to an artificial price for Bluforest securities.
Based on those findings, the panel ordered permanent market access bans against Can, Miller and Bluforest and payment of administrative penalties by Can and Miller of $750,000 and $300,000, respectively. The panel also ordered that Can pay to the ASC $1,485,834, based on the amounts he was found to have obtained from his misconduct. Finally, Can and Miller were ordered to pay $80,000 and $50,000, respectively, of the costs of the ASC's investigation and hearing.
In its decision, the panel noted that “the Respondents unquestionably present a significant risk to the capital markets. Fraud and market manipulation are particularly abhorrent forms of capital market misconduct that go to the core of the ASC's public interest mandate. As mentioned, [Can and Miller’s] actions were deliberate, carefully planned and executed, and their misconduct caused demonstrable harm to Alberta investors and the capital market."
“Pump and dump schemes are a deplorable form of securities fraud,” said Cynthia Campbell, Director, Enforcement at the ASC. “The significant sanctions ordered against Can, Miller and Bluforest – including permanent bans – reflect the need to protect investors and our capital markets from these scoundrels.”
A copy of the decision is available on the ASC website at albertasecurities.com.
The ASC is the regulatory agency responsible for administering the province’s securities laws. It is entrusted with fostering a fair and efficient capital market in Alberta and with protecting investors. As a member of the Canadian Securities Administrators, the ASC works to improve, coordinate and harmonize the regulation of Canada's capital markets.
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