Joseph Gaetano Bucci, president and CEO of Coastal Pacific Mining Corp., has pled guilty to acting as a dealer of securities without registration, not filing a prospectus, and engaging in a course of conduct that resulted in a false appearance of trading activity and an artificial price for the Coastal Pacific securities. Provincial Court Judge Skene accepted the pleas and sentenced Bucci to an 18 month conditional sentence.
Judge Skene also ordered that Bucci be permanently prohibited from:
- trading in and purchasing securities or derivatives of publically traded or quoted issuers;
- using any exemptions in Alberta securities laws; and
- acting in a management or consultative capacity in connection with activities in the securities market.
Additionally, Bucci was ordered to forfeit to the Crown as costs of its investigation any funds in the bank account of Ox Financial Inc., his wholly-owned company. The other accused in this case, Caroline Meyers (a.k.a. Caroline Winsor, a.k.a. Caroline Danforth), is scheduled to return to Provincial Court on November 17, 2015 to speak to the charges.
"This is the first court sentence to be handed down in a "pump and dump" market manipulation case in Alberta," says ASC Director of Enforcement Cynthia Campbell. "Jail is the appropriate starting point for this type of misconduct as it involves the deception of innocent purchasers of securities in the market. The conditional sentence recommendation was agreed upon by the ASC due only to Mr. Bucci’s serious health issues."
The charges are in connection to the 2010 market manipulation of Calgary-based Coastal Pacific securities. In Agreed Facts presented to the Court, Bucci admitted that he helped organize a shell company (Coastal Pacific) and with Meyers’ assistance got it quoted for trading on the U.S. Over-the-Counter markets. On September 23, 2010, Bucci prepared nine news releases for scheduled distribution regarding Coastal Pacific’s operations. At roughly the same time, an online promotional campaign with respect to Coastal Pacific was orchestrated by individuals in Vancouver. The effect of these actions was to take Coastal Pacific trading from zero activity and no value to upwards of 60,000,000 shares traded and prices exceeding $0.50 per share. Once the news releases and promotional campaign ceased, the trading and value of the Coastal Pacific securities returned to almost nothing.
A copy of a transcript of the court proceedings including the oral decision can be obtained through the Provincial Court of Alberta in Calgary.
The ASC gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the following law enforcement agencies in this matter: Royal Canadian Mounted Police, British Columbia Securities Commission, Autorité des marches financiers, U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The ASC is the regulatory agency responsible for administering the province's securities laws. It is entrusted with fostering a fair and efficient capital market in Alberta and with protecting investors. As a member of the Canadian Securities Administrators, the ASC works to improve, coordinate and harmonize the regulation of Canada's capital markets.
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