The Nova Scotia Securities Commission (NSSC) issued a temporary cease trade order Monday against Stratus Financial Group International, Stratus Offshore, Magnus Torgenson, and John Westbrook — all of whom, it says, are not registered to sell securities in the province. The initial order expires after 15 days.
While the regulator has not made formal allegations against the respondents, the temporary order indicates that it appears they have traded without registration in the province. The commission reports that it has received complaints from three investors saying that they were cold called by the companies’ representatives pressuring them to invest in natural gas futures and foreign exchange options.
Earlier this year, Stratus was permanently cease traded by regulators in New Brunswick after hearings before the Financial Consumer Services Tribunal, which found that they traded without registration, and also suggested they appeared to be a boiler room. Along with Stratus, which is based in San Jose, Costa Rica, it also cease traded Ken Powers, a self-identified representative of Stratus; along with London, UK-based, Sachs International S.A. (Sachs), and a senior adviser with Sachs, Charles King.
“Investors who fall prey to the high-pressure, now-or-never script used by boiler room representatives are at significant risk of losing a lot of money.” said Heidi Schedler, enforcement counsel for the NSSC. “We’re concerned for the financial safety of Nova Scotians and want the public to know that they can always hang up the phone and take the time to make sure that whoever is contacting them is registered with a securities commission.”