The New Brunswick Securities Commission (NBSC) has issued cease-trade orders against suspected boiler rooms based in Belize that are allegedly pushing gold options.

The NBSC announced that it has cease traded Crainshaw International Ltd. and Osbourne Worldwide Ltd., following a hearing before a panel of the commission. It reports that, at the hearing, the panel heard evidence of violations of the Securities Act by Crainshaw and Osbourne, including testimony from an investor in purported gold options.

The investigation into Crainshaw and Osbourne began as a result of a complaint by a New Brunswick resident who invested more than $12,000 in purported gold options, the commission says. Its staff filed a statement of allegations in November alleging that the sales tactics used by representatives of the companies to solicit the investments were indicative of a possible boiler room operation.

Neither Crainshaw nor Osbourne responded to the allegations or appeared at the hearing, it says. Ultimately, the panel found that it was in the public interest to issue the cease-trade order, noting that this may help other investors avoid falling victim to boiler room activity.

“We must use this as an opportunity to warn the public and keep the issue of investment fraud on the minds of residents,” said Rick Hancox, executive director of the NBSC. “New Brunswickers should contact the commission before sending any money, particularly out of the country, for investments that seem too good to be true.”