British Columbia Securities Commission

British Columbia Securities Commission

August 24, 2012 14:15 ET

BCSC Executive Director's Bulletin: Securities Regulator Issues Notice of Hearing Against Numbered Company, Nevada Corporation and Three B.C. Men Alleging Illegal Distribution

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 24, 2012) - The executive director of the British Columbia Securities Commission has issued a notice of hearing alleging that a Nevada Corporation, three B.C. residents and a numbered company incorporated in B.C. engaged in illegal trading and distribution of securities.

The notice alleges that 0894563 B.C. Ltd. promoted and sold partnership agreements in Armadillo Energy Inc, a Nevada corporation that claims to be a privately owned energy corporation that owns an oil lease in Oklahoma. The numbered company is not registered under the Securities Act, and Armadillo has never filed a prospectus, offering memorandum or exempt distribution report in B.C.

Armadillo distributed its securities in Canada through the numbered company, which received a 19% commission on the sale of each partnership agreement.

Darwin James Hajime Okano, Richard Gozdek and Mohammed Soolaman, all of whom are B.C. residents, are also named in the notice. Okano is the sole director of the numbered company and has never been registered to sell securities in B.C. Soolaman was registered in B.C. as a dealing representative from May 9, 2011 to January 20, 2012. Gozdek has never been registered to sell securities.

The notice says that between December 2010 and April 2011, the numbered company sold Armadillo partnership agreements to at least 64 investors in Canada, raising over $2 million. A total of $781,229.27 was raised from 26 investors who were residents of B.C.

BCSC staff contends that Okano, Gozdek and Soolaman each directly solicited persons to invest in the partnership agreements, executed them on behalf of Armadillo as a "sales associate", and received a commission from the numbered company for each investment sold.

On July 29, 2011, the Ontario Securities Commission issued a Notice of Hearing and Temporary Cease Trade Order against Armadillo and others for alleged unregistered activity in Ontario.

These allegations have not been proven. Counsel for the executive director will apply to set dates for a hearing into the allegations before a panel of commissioners on September 18, 2012 at 9:00am.

The B.C. Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating trading in securities within the province. You may view the notice of hearing on our website www.bcsc.bc.ca by typing 0894563 B.C. Ltd, Darwin James Hajime Okano, Richard Gozdek, Mohammed Soolaman or 2012 BCSECCOM 343 in the search box. Information regarding disciplinary proceedings can be found in the Enforcement section of the BCSC website.

Please visit the Canadian Securities Administrators' Disciplined Persons List for information relating to persons disciplined by provincial securities regulators, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association (MFDA).

For media inquiries, please contact Richard Gilhooley, media relations, 604-899-6713. For public inquiries, please call 604 899 6854 or 1 800 373 6393 (toll free).

Learn how to protect yourself and become a more informed investor at www.investright.org.

Contact Information

  • British Columbia Securities Commission
    Richard Gilhooley
    Media Relations
    604-899-6713 or (Canada) 1-800-373-6393
    www.bcsc.bc.ca