Concrete Equities penalties total $5.6M
The Alberta Securities Commission has ordered fines and costs totalling $5.6 million for four executives of Calgary-based Concrete Equities.
In September, the ASC found Vincenzo De Palma, Varun Vinny Aurora, David Jones and David Humeniuk illegally distributed securities and made misleading and untrue statements.
Humeniuk faces a $3.3 million penalty and $22,000 in costs, the largest ever levied by the ASC against an individual.
The ASC assessed a $1.2 million penalty and $22,000 in costs against Jones, a $600,000 penalty and $11,000 in costs against De Palma and a $500,000 penalty and $11,000 in costs against Aurora.
More than 3,700 investors, most from Calgary, lost more than $100 million through their dealings with the investment fund.
Investors said they were devastated by their losses.
"Much harm resulted from all of this misconduct," the Alberta Securities Commission said in its decision released on Wednesday.
"Prospective investors were given materially misleading information, and denied the prospectus disclosure and registrant involvement (or appropriate substitutes under properly-used exemptions) to which they were entitled by law," the decision said.
"We repeatedly heard — and we believed — testimony of individual investors distraught and traumatized by what they have endured as a result of their involvement with the Concrete Group."
From February 2006 until May 2009, the fund sold securities based on investments in office buildings in Calgary and land deals in Mexico.
The ASC found that each as a securities dealer without being registered and traded for his own benefit without issuing a required prospectus, a document that outlines investment risks in detail.
It found three of them — all but De Palma — had lied to investors.
On June 10, 2009, a court ordered Concrete Equities into receivership, leaving some investors with only pennies on the dollar and others with no more than 50 per cent of their original investments.
With files from The Canadian Press