Abel Da Silva and Eric O'Brien Each Sentenced to 27 Months in Jail for Breaching Ontario Securities Act

TORONTO, Nov. 16, 2011 /CNW/ - Justice Joseph Kenkel of the Ontario Court of Justice yesterday sentenced Abel Da Silva and Eric O'Brien each to a total of 27 months in jail for fraud, trading in securities without registration and trading in securities without a prospectus.

Justice Kenkel sentenced Da Silva and O'Brien to 18 months in jail for their roles in running a "boiler room" operation involving shares of Shallow Oil and Gas Inc. Consecutive sentences of nine months each were also imposed for breaches of temporary cease trade orders made by the Ontario Securities Commission.  Da Silva was also sentenced to one day in jail for each of two counts of misleading Staff of the Commission, to be served concurrently.

"This case demonstrates that we will go after significant jail sentences for individuals who abuse Ontario investors and treat Commission orders with impunity," said Tom Atkinson, OSC Director, Enforcement.

The sentencing yesterday follows the guilty finding by Justice Kenkel on May 18, 2011 for Da Silva, O'Brien, Abraham Grossman and Shallow Oil and Gas Inc.  Each were found guilty on several counts of breaching the Securities Act (Ontario), including fraud, in relation to the boiler room operation.

The Commission initially laid quasi-criminal charges against Da Silva, O'Brien, Grossman and Shallow Oil and Gas Inc. on June 12, 2008.  The boiler room operation started in the fall of 2007 and was terminated in January 2008 when the Commission executed a search warrant at the Shallow Oil and Gas Inc. office in Markham, Ontario. At the time of the raid, the defendants were actively soliciting investors across Canada using high pressure sales tactics along with false and misleading information. They had raised approximately $250,000 before the Commission shut down the operation.

Da Silva, O'Brien and Grossman continue to be subject to a cease trade order prohibiting them from trading in securities. The cease trade order was first made by the Commission on January 16, 2008 in relation to this matter. The cease trade order and other documents related to this matter are available at www.osc.gov.on.ca.

Under section 122 of the Act, the Commission has the authority to lay quasi-criminal charges against individuals or companies in the Ontario Court of Justice for alleged violations of the Act. Quasi-criminal means that a jail term is a possible sanction if a defendant is convicted of a violation of the Act. The Commission pursues cases in court in order to seek sanctions and penalties that send a strong message of deterrence to those who try to exploit investors.

The mandate of the Commission 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 Commission's investor materials available at www.osc.gov.on.ca

SOURCE Ontario Securities Commission

For further information:

For Media Inquiries:  Wendy Dey
  Director, Communications & Public Affairs
  Carolyn Shaw-Rimmington
  Manager, Public Affairs
  Dylan Rae
  Media Relations Specialist
For Investor Inquiries:     OSC Contact Centre
  1-877-785-1555 (Toll Free)


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