The Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) has fined and banned a former mutual fund rep and financial planner for 10 years after he admitted to violating securities rules in connection with a scheme that raised $1 million from several investors as part of an illegal distribution.
On Wednesday, the ASC announced a settlement agreement with former fund rep and financial planner Farhang (Fred) Dagostar Nikoo, who admitted to breaching securities laws in connection with trading in the firm Bluforest Inc. (formerly Greenwood Gold Resources Inc.) in 2012.
In his settlement with the ASC, Nikoo admitted to advising without registration and misleading investors by making false statements about the company. For instance, he admits telling one investor that she would double her money in six months, and that Bluforest, which has now been dissolved, would be listed on Nasdaq. He agreed to the 10-year ban, a fine of $50,000 and costs of $20,000.
According to the settlement agreement, Nikoo promoted the sale of Bluforest securities to several investors, including clients of his financial planning business, and he introduced investors to two other men — Cem (Jim) Can, who allegedly controlled the company, and Charles Michael Miller — who purportedly handled funds and share transfer documents, and delivered share certificates as part of the scheme. The allegations against the two men have not been proven. A hearing is slated to start on March 6 at the ASC to hear the allegations against the two men.
In today’s settlement, the ASC notes that Nikoo was not directly compensated for his role in selling the securities, which weren’t issued under a prospectus or an exemption, but that he did receive $30,000 from Can. It also points out that several investors cashed out mutual funds or other safe investments to buy the Bluforest shares.
The settlement also notes that Nikoo alerted the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to “the activities of Bluforest and its representatives” and that he had no prior disciplinary history.