TORONTO, Jan. 7, 2014 /CNW/ - The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has approved a settlement agreement reached between Staff and Kevin Warren Zietsoff.
Zietsoff admitted to securities fraud and agreed to be permanently banned from Ontario's capital markets. In total, Zietsoff's fraud took in over $15 million from more than 80 victims in Canada and the United States.
Zietsoff admitted to depriving his victims of more than $10 million, by selling them promissory note securities without registration, and to losing that money on bad trades. The remaining $5 million, which Zietsoff did not lose in the markets, was paid out to investors as interest or repayment of principal. This act was conducted fraudulently, in a pattern of behaviour commonly known as a Ponzi Scheme.
The fraudulent Ponzi Scheme ran from January 2006 to December 2012. According to the facts in the settlement agreement, Zietsoff persuaded his victims to invest with him through various falsehoods, including that he was a successful trader with a proven system and that the promissory notes were 'low risk or risk free'.
On December 19, 2013, Zietsoff pled guilty to Fraud Over $5,000 pursuant to the Criminal Code in the Ontario Court of Justice based on the same facts included in the OSC's settlement agreement. Zietsoff's sentence hearing on his criminal conviction is scheduled for January 7, 2014 at Old City Hall in Toronto.
This settlement is a result of a successful joint investigation between the OSC and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The OSC also acknowledges the assistance of the Arizona Corporation Commission in conducting this investigation.
The mandate of the OSC is to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices and to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in capital markets. Investors are urged to check the registration of any person or company offering an investment opportunity and to review the OSC's investor materials available at www.osc.gov.on.ca.
SOURCE: Ontario Securities Commission
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