ASC sanctions Ronald Cloutier and his companies for fraud

CALGARY, May 9, 2014 /CNW/ - The Alberta Securities Commission has sanctioned Alberta businessman Ronald Theodore Cloutier (Cloutier) and his companies, Venture Contractors Ltd. (Venture), Viva Communications Ltd. (Viva), Sunterra Resource Audit Equipment Ltd. (SRAE), and Sunterra Seismic Inc. (SSI), for perpetrating a fraud on investors, illegally trading and distributing securities and making misleading and untrue statements to investors.

In a January 2014 decision, an ASC panel also ruled that Cloutier, Venture and Viva made prohibited representations and engaged in the unfair practice of pressuring investors, and that Cloutier breached an ASC Interim Cease Trade Order issued against him and his companies.

The ASC panel made the following orders:

  • Cloutier pay an administrative penalty of $1 million and all trading in or purchasing of securities issued by Cloutier permanently cease;
  • Cloutier be permanently banned from all trading in or purchasing of securities, using Alberta securities laws exemptions, acting as a director or officer of any issuer, and acting in a management or consultative capacity in connection with activities in the securities market;
  • all trading in or purchasing of Venture, Viva, SRAE and SSI securities permanently cease, and Venture, Viva, SRAE and SSI be permanently banned from all trading in or purchasing of securities and using Alberta securities laws exemptions, unless a prospectus is filed and receipted; and
  • Cloutier, Venture, Viva, SRAE and SSI pay, jointly or individually, $200,000 of the investigation and hearing costs.

In its decision, the ASC panel noted that this "capital-market misconduct has caused substantial financial harm to Purchasers" and "we conclude that, unless tightly and permanently constrained, Cloutier would pose a serious risk of future harm to the Alberta capital market and the investing public."

Copies of the Merits and Sanction decisions can be found on the ASC website at www.albertasecurities.com.

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 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.

SOURCE: Alberta Securities Commission

For further information:

For Media Inquiries: 
Mark Dickey
Senior Communications Advisor
403.297.4481

For Investor Inquiries: 
ASC Public Inquiries
Toll Free 1.877.355.4488


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