TORONTO, May 6, 2014 /CNW/ - On May 5, 2014, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Divisional Court) dismissed an appeal brought by Otto Spork, Konstantinos Ekonomidis and Natalie Spork from the merits and sanctions decisions of the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), as well as a decision by the Commission on its ability to hold a sanctions hearing before a single member panel.
The merits and sanctions decisions, dated May 17, 2011 and June 1, 2012, found each of the Appellants engaged in violations of Ontario securities law and conduct contrary to the public interest, and ordered sanctions against each appellant, including an administrative penalty of $1 million and a disgorgement order of $6.35 million against Otto Spork.
In its merits decisions, the Commission found that Otto Spork, who was the directing mind of various Sextant investment funds, orchestrated and perpetrated a fraudulent scheme on investors by committing several acts of fraud around the market price of Iceland Glacier Products, the business of which was intended to be the sale of melted glacier water in Iceland and the business in which Otto Spork's Sextant funds had significant holdings. In addition to its finding that Otto Spork perpetrated a fraud on investors, the Commission also found that Otto Spork, Konstantinos Ekonomidis and Natalie Spork all breached their duties as investment fund managers, failed to deal fairly, honestly and in good faith with their clients and acted contrary to the public interest.
In their appeal, heard December 6, 2013, Otto Spork, Konstantinos Ekonomidis and Natalie Spork sought to set aside the order made against them on sanctions, or in the alternative, to have the sanctions order varied. The Ontario Superior Court dismissed the appeals on the basis that the Commission's conclusions reached in support of its decisions were reasonable and ultimately concluded that "[t]here is no basis for the appeal" of the Commission's order on sanctions.
A copy of the Reasons for Judgment on the appeal can be obtained from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
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 the capital markets. Investors are urged to check the registration of any persons or company offering an investment opportunity and to review the OSC investor materials available at http://www.osc.gov.on.ca
SOURCE: Ontario Securities Commission
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