Enforcement Roundup: January 2022

In this edition of the Enforcement Roundup, we discuss enforcement activities from the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) and additions to the Investment Caution List. We also highlight two settlement agreements from the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). 

BCSC Enforcement

BCSC Sanctions

Donald Bergman, All Canadian Investment Corporation

A BCSC panel has imposed a $130,000 penalty on Bergman, a Salmon Arm resident, for making misrepresentations and false or misleading statements about loans made by his mortgage investment corporation.

The panel also prohibited Bergman from engaging in various market activities for 15 years, and imposed permanent bans on his company, All Canadian Investment Corporation (ACIC).

The panel stated that the sanctions against Bergman “must take into account the ongoing risk [he] poses to the public demonstrated by his misconduct.”

Read the news release for full details.

News Release

Richard Gozdek

A BCSC panel has imposed a reciprocal order against Gozdek who pleaded guilty in provincial court to breaching a BCSC order by trading in securities.

In 2013, the BCSC banned Gozdek from buying or selling securities for five years after he admitted that he illegally sold shares in Armadillo, a Nevada corporation that claimed to own an oil lease in Oklahoma. In 2018, he was charged by the B.C. Prosecution Service with breaching that order, following an investigation by the BCSC’s Criminal Investigations Branch.

The reciprocal order bans Richard Gozdek from the market for two years, finding that his “conduct demonstrates a carelessness for securities regulation and Commission orders. [It] suggests that Gozdek poses a continuing risk to investors.” Gozdek must also resign any position he holds as a director or officer of an issuer or registrant.

Read the news release for full details.

News Release

BCSC Settlement Agreements

Richard Ryan Penn, Roman Reuven Rubin, Black Tusk Resources Inc.

The BCSC has reached a settlement agreement with Penn and Rubin for failing to accurately disclose their trades and shareholdings. Penn is the Chief Executive Officer and Rubin is the former Chief Financial Officer and Secretary of Black Tusk Resources Inc., which trades on the Canadian Securities Exchange.

As part of the settlement, Penn paid $75,000 and Rubin paid $65,000 to the BCSC. They must also complete a course on the duties and responsibilities of directors and officers of public companies.

Penn and Rubin have since made the required filings on SEDI and paid the late fees. They also directed Black Tusk to publish news releases correcting the disclosure of their shareholdings.

Read the news release for full details.

News Release

IIROC Enforcement

IIROC Settlement Agreements

Shayne Ian Frederick Nyquvest

Nyquvest admitted that he engaged in personal financial dealings, facilitated off-book investments without the knowledge or consent of his firm, and engaged in outside business activities without the knowledge or approval of his firm.

Nyquvest is suspended from registration in any capacity with IIROC for six months and must pay a $34,000 fine and $5,000 in costs. He must also rewrite and pass the Conduct and Practices Handbook Course examination upon return. He will be subject to close supervision for 12 months.

The violations occurred while he was a registered representative with the Vancouver branch of Mackie Research Capital Corporation (now Research Capital Corporation). Nyquvest is no longer a registrant with an IIROC-regulated firm.

Read the news release for full details.

News Release

Canaccord Genuity Corp.

Canaccord admitted that between January 2010 and May 2019, it failed to establish and maintain a system of internal controls and supervision reasonably designed to achieve compliance with IIROC requirements, including to deal fairly with clients with regard to fees contrary to two IIROC dealer member rules.

Canaccord agreed to pay a fine of $157,500 and costs in the amount of $50,000.

Read the news release for full details.

News Release

BCSC Early Intervention

Investment Caution List

The BCSC publishes an Investment Caution List to notify British Columbians about unqualified investments and unregistered activity originating from outside of the province that accept BC residents as clients.

 Below are the January additions to the Investment Caution List.

BTC Convert claims to offer accounts for trading in forex, commodities and cryptocurrencies.

Legal Expert Mining Advisors Corporation claims to offer investment packages with different rates of return.

Freedom Finances claims to offer accounts for trading in forex, commodities, stocks, indices and cryptocurrencies.

Hibiscus Investments Group claims to offer accounts for trading in stocks, CFDs, forex, and commodities.

YorkBTC claims to offer accounts for trading in cryptocurrencies.

AEX claims to be located in the United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong. It claims to offer an online cryptocurrency trading platform.

Hengry Global Capital Limited claims to be located in Regina, Saskatchewan and it also claims to offer investment services in forex, metals, CFDs, futures and cryptocurrency.

Trade Bench FX claims to have offices in San Diego and it claims to offer investment packages for trading in forex options and cryptocurrency options.

Intelligence Prime Capital Ltd. claims to be based in Toronto, Ontario and it claims to offer trading services in forex, CFD and cryptocurrencies.

Report a Concern

If you have any concerns about a person or company offering an investment opportunity, please contact BCSC Inquiries at 604-899-6854 or 1-800-373-6393 or through e-mail at [email protected]. You can also file a complaint or submit a tip anonymously using the BCSC’s online complaint form.

InvestRight.org is the British Columbia Securities Commission’s investor education website. Subscribe to receive email updates from BCSC InvestRight.

Suggested Reading

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Putting Investors First: Client Focused Reforms and Relationship Disclosure

More Resources

Understand Registration

The Enforcement Roundup is a monthly summary of enforcement activities in British Columbia taken by securities regulators.

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The Enforcement Roundup is a monthly summary of enforcement activities in British Columbia taken by securities regulators.