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Aug 27, 2020
CALGARY – August 27, 2020 – The Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) has found that Bluforest Inc., Cem (Jim) Can and Charles Michael Miller breached Alberta securities laws.
An ASC panel ruled that Can and Miller engaged in a course of conduct that perpetrated a fraud by participating in a pump and dump scheme. The ASC panel also found that Bluforest made misrepresentations and that Can illegally distributed securities to Alberta investors and engaged in a course of conduct that resulted in or contributed to an artificial price for Bluforest securities.
In making its decision, the ASC panel noted that Can and Miller were both centrally involved in virtually all aspects of Bluforest's pump and dump scheme, including that they secretly controlled Bluforest and most of the company's free-trading shares. The ASC panel also found that they sold a significant number of those shares during a promotional campaign directed by Can. The ASC panel noted that pump and dump schemes are "objectively dishonest and antithetical to the operation of a fair and efficient capital market" and "are calculated to enrich the scheme's architects by deceiving capital market participants as to the value of the target company's shares, at least for enough time to allow those responsible to sell their shares . . .".
In its decision, the ASC panel dismissed allegations that Miller and Bluforest made certain other misrepresentations and that they engaged in a course of conduct that resulted in or contributed to an artificial price for Bluforest securities.
A hearing management session will be held on September 11, 2020 to set a timetable for submissions with respect to sanctions. Following that, it will be determined what, if any, sanctions or cost-recovery orders will be made against Bluforest, Can and Miller.
A copy of the decision is available on the ASC website at albertasecurities.com.
The ASC is the regulatory agency responsible for administering the province’s securities laws. It is entrusted to foster a fair and efficient capital market in Alberta and to protect 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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