A Calgary lawyer has agreed to settle allegations that he violated securities laws in connection with a market manipulation scheme allegedly operated by a client.
The Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) said Monday that it has reached a settlement agreement with a lawyer, Norman David Anderson, who admitted to breaching securities laws. Anderson failed to identify that a former client, Cem (Jim) Can, was allegedly engaging in a market manipulation involving the shares of an over-the-counter (OTC) bulletin board company, Bluforest, Inc., which Can controlled.
“Anderson was not directly aware of the promotional campaign at the time, but acknowledges he failed to take proper or sufficient steps to identify if Can, through his control of Bluforest … was engaging or participating in an act, practice or course of conduct relating to Bluforest securities that resulted in or contributed to an artificial price for those securities,” the settlement said.
In settling the allegations, Anderson agreed to pay the commission $70,000 and $20,000 in costs. He also agreed to an eight-year ban from acting as a director or officer of an issuer, engaging in consulting in the securities market, and acting as a trustee or beneficiary for an issuer.
According to the settlement, Anderson has no previous disciplinary history and cooperated with the ASC investigation.
“Market manipulations and related schemes are a menace to our capital markets and often result in huge losses to innocent investors,” said Cynthia Campbell, director of enforcement at the ASC. “Professional advisors such as lawyers who participate in these activities will be held to account.”
Last month, a former mutual fund rep and financial planner, Farhang (Fred) Dagostar Nikoo, also settled allegations for his role in connection with the alleged Bluforest scheme. He agreed to a 10-year ban, a $50,000 fine and $20,000 in costs.
A hearing at the ASC against various other respondents in the case began on March 6 and is continuing this month. The allegations against the remaining respondents in the case have not been proven.