The former CEO of a mining company is facing regulatory charges for seeking to capitalize on the popularity of the cannabis business by claiming that his company was looking to get into the hot sector.
The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) announced that it will hold a hearing on Jan. 14, 2020, to consider allegations against David Randall Miller, former CEO of Inspiration Mining Corp.
In allegations published on Friday, the regulator said that Miller violated securities rules by directing the company to “publish false and misleading press releases to capitalize on investor interest in cannabis.”
In the wake of issuing the releases, the OSC said that the company’s share price rose by 450%, and that Miller made over $100,000 selling his shares during the price spike.
The OSC alleged that this amounted to illegal insider trading.
The allegations have not been proven.
“When an industry is experiencing significant investor interest, as cannabis was in 2018, individuals that try to capitalize on that interest by publishing false and misleading press releases about plans to enter that industry are breaching Ontario securities law,” the OSC said in its allegations.
“Insiders who sell their own securities after issuing false and misleading press releases, with knowledge of material facts not disclosed to the public, are abusing the market. This type of misconduct warrants enforcement action by staff and significant sanctions,” it added.