ASC Sanctions Kustom Design Companies and Synergy Group

CALGARY, Sept. 2 /CNW/ - The Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) has imposed trading bans and orders totalling almost $500,000 against three Calgary-based companies (Kustom Design Financial Services Inc., Kustom Design Group Inc. and Hightide Management Inc.), their principals Michael Lepitre and Mark Jones, Toronto-based Synergy Group (2000) Inc. and its western regional manager Leonard Zielke.  These orders were imposed after an ASC panel found that these companies and individuals engaged in illegal trades and distributions of securities and that Kustom Design Financial and Lepitre acted as advisors without being registered to do so.

In its sanction decision, the ASC panel ordered that:

  • Kustom Design Financial Services, Kustom Design Group and Hightide Management are permanently barred from trading in or purchasing securities and from using exemptions under Alberta securities laws.  All trading in or purchasing of the securities of the named companies must cease permanently as well.
  • Lepitre is banned from trading in or purchasing securities, using exemptions under Alberta securities laws, acting as a director or officer of any issuer and acting in a management or consultative capacity in connection with securities market activities for 20 years.  He is also ordered to pay an administrative penalty of $150,000 and $60,000 in costs.
  • Jones is banned from trading in or purchasing securities, using exemptions under Alberta securities laws, acting as a director or officer of any issuer and acting in a management or consultative capacity in connection with securities market activities for 10 years.  He is also ordered to pay an administrative penalty of $50,000 and $22,500 in costs.
  • Synergy Group is barred from trading in or purchasing securities and from using exemptions under Alberta securities laws, and all trading in or purchasing of its securities must cease until the ASC's Executive Director issues a receipt for a prospectus in respect of any securities that Synergy Group wishes to trade.  Synergy Group is also ordered to pay an administrative penalty of $150,000 and $20,000 in costs.
  • Zielke is banned from trading in or purchasing securities, using exemptions under Alberta securities laws, acting as a director or officer of any issuer and acting in a management or consultative capacity in connection with securities market activities for 10 years.  He is also ordered to pay an administrative penalty of $25,000 and $10,000 in costs.

In its decision, the ASC panel ruled:  "Having regard to the totality of the circumstances, we are satisfied that, unless we restrain the Respondents' future access to our capital market and deter them from similar capital market misconduct through meaningful sanction, they would pose serious risk to the investing public as well as the integrity of that market."

A copy of the decision is posted on the ASC website at href="http://www.albertasecurities.com/">www.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.

 

SOURCE Alberta Securities Commission

For further information: 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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