British Columbia Securities Commission

British Columbia Securities Commission

March 21, 2006 09:30 ET

British Columbia Securities Commission: Commission Sanctions Offshore Companies and Individuals that Illegally Sold Securities to B.C. Investors

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - March 21, 2006) - The British Columbia Securities Commission has permanently cease-traded securities issued or offered by Bahamas-incorporated companies that violated securities laws when they sold securities to B.C. residents.

In September 2005, a commission panel ruled that the Corporate Express group, including Corporate Express Inc., Corporate Express Club, and Corporate Express Club (CEC) 1998, Fortress International Ltd., Great American Gold Ltd., John Thomas McCarthy and Cameron Willard McEwen, violated the Securities Act by:

- Trading securities without being registered to do so, and

- Distributing securities without filing a prospectus.

The panel found that Corporate Express made statements about the future price of an investment - offering returns of 50-, 175-, and 400-per-cent - in promoting the purchase of its securities, contrary to the Act.

Corporate Express, Fortress and Great American, McCarthy and McEwen also breached the commission's temporary orders by trading in the securities of Corporate Express and Great American. McCarthy and McEwen also breached the temporary orders by engaging in investor relations activities.

Corporate Express sold memberships to 264 individuals that included 117 B.C. residents who paid about $40,950 (U.S.). Great American illegally sold securities to at least seven B.C. investors totalling almost $135,000 (U.S.).

In its sanctions decision, the panel banned McCarthy and McEwen from trading and distributing securities in B.C. for 10 years. During that time, the pair cannot be directors or officers of any issuer and they cannot engage in investor relations activities.

In June 2004, the B.C.-based sales manager for Corporate Express settled with BCSC staff in this matter. Patrick Thomas Stojak was banned from the capital market for three years and agreed to pay $5,000 as part of the settlement.

The B.C. Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating trading in securities within the province. You may view the decision and related materials on our website by typing in the search box, Corporate Express or 2006 BCSECCOM 153. If you have questions, contact Andrew Poon, Media Relations, 604-899-6880.

Contact Information

  • British Columbia Securities Commission
    Andrew Poon
    Media Relations
    (604) 899-6880 or (B.C. & Alberta) 1-800-373-6393