CALGARY, Feb. 6, 2012 /CNW/ - The Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) has found that Matthew Russell, Azteca Gold Corp.'s president and CEO breached Alberta securities laws by making, and causing Azteca Gold to make certain statements in eight Azteca Gold news releases "when he knew or reasonably ought to have known them to be materially misleading, or misleading and untrue." These statements, made from January through June 2009, concerned drilling results for the company's Two Mile project in Idaho, U.S.
An ASC panel also found that Russell breached Alberta securities laws by acting as Azteca Gold's "qualified person" in respect of the Two Mile project when he lacked certain required experience relevant to the project as it stood in the first half of 2009. Under Alberta securities laws, all disclosure of scientific or technical information made by an issuer concerning a mineral project must be based upon information prepared by or under the supervision of a qualified person.
The ASC panel ruled that Russell's conduct "impaired the ability of investors to make properly informed investment decisions. The potential harm is broad and foreseeable. Investors who bought Azteca securities in the first half of 2009, in the face of the improper disclosure, appear to have been directly and quantifiably harmed."
The ASC panel has set dates for ASC staff and Russell to provide submissions on what, if any, orders for sanctions and costs the panel ought to make.
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.
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