From the Regulators

A former legal assistant with a Bay Street law firm is alleged to have provided an institutional trader with material, non-public information

By James Langton |

 

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) on Friday unveiled allegations of yet another Bay Street illegal insider trading and tipping scheme involving a law firm and a brokerage employee.

The OSC alleges that Donna Hutchinson, a legal assistant with law firm Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP (DWPV), provided Cameron Edward Cornish, a long-time friend and institutional trader, with material, non-public information about pending mergers and acquisitions that DWPV was working on from Oct. 1, 2011 to April 30, 2016.

The OSC alleges that Cornish — who was registered with Brant Securities Ltd., from 2009 to 2017, according to registration records — not only traded on the information himself, but also passed along tips to two other friends, David Paul George Sidders and Patrick Jelf Caruso, who also allegedly traded on the information.

The deals in question include Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.'s acquisition of Allergan Inc.; Baytex Energy Corp.'s deal for Aurora Oil & Gas Ltd.; and Burger King Worldwide, Inc.'s acquisition of Tim Hortons Inc., among others.

The allegations in the case have not been proven. The first hearing in the case is scheduled for Oct. 24.

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