Judge gavel, scales of justice and law books in court

A Canadian has been charged, along with three Americans, for allegedly carrying out an international pump-and-dump scheme involving a Quebec-based company.

The U.S. attorney’s office for the southern district of California announced securities fraud, money laundering and conspiracy charges against an Alberta resident, David Stephens, and three California men, in connection with an alleged market manipulation in the shares of Loop Industries Inc.

None of the allegations have been proven.

According to a federal indictment, in 2014, Stephens acquired control over a publicly-traded shell company, and carried out a reverse takeover with Quebec’s Loop Industries in 2015, which created publicly-traded shares of Loop.

Then, without disclosing their control over the company’s shares, authorities allege that the accused men touted the stock and sold their holdings to other investors at inflated prices.

Additionally, the indictment alleges that the three California men sought to promote Loop shares by passing inside information to an investor, who was actually an undercover FBI agent.

Back in September, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also launched civil action against the defendants.