TORONTO, March 28, 2013 /CNW/ - The Ontario Securities Commission approved a settlement agreement yesterday between Staff and Bernard Boily (Boily). Boily was a geologist with 30 years of experience and the Qualified Person for Bear Lake Gold Ltd., a mining exploration company and a reporting issuer listed on the TSX Venture Exchange.
The matter is the first case to come before the Commission that pertains to the conduct of a "Qualified Person", a gatekeeper of technical information under National Instrument 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (NI 43-101).
In the agreed facts, Boily admitted that during the period of December 2007 to July 2009 he:
- altered certain assay results received by Bear Lake and transferred these results into the company's assay database;
- prepared draft press releases for Bear Lake that contained incorrect and inflated data based on the altered results and which was then issued to the market; and that he
- provided Independent Qualified Persons, who were retained to prepare a technical report for Bear Lake (as required by NI 43-101), with altered assay results and assay databases that contained results which were calculated based on these altered results, and he engaged in other misconduct, including replacing core and modifying a drill core log.
Trading in Bear Lake was halted on July 17, 2009, following which Bear Lake announced that it had become aware of material inconsistencies in its exploration results. Boily admitted that upon resumption of trading on July 28, 2009, Bear Lake suffered a market capitalization loss, on one day alone, of over $42 million.
In reaching the settlement, Boily admitted that he:
- perpetrated a fraud in relation to his conduct with the Independent Qualified Persons;
- breached the prohibition against issuing misleading and untrue statements to the market;
- engaged in conduct which he reasonably ought to have known resulted in, or contributed to, an artificial price for Bear Lake securities; and
- engaged in conduct which was not only contrary to the public interest, but abusive to the integrity of Ontario's capital markets.
In the settlement, Boily agreed to, among other sanctions, a permanent ban from acting as a Director and Officer of any issuer, an administrative penalty of $750,000, $50,000 in costs, and a prohibition from trading (with a carve-out for his Locked-In Retirement Account) for the later of a period of 15 years or as long as his administrative penalty and costs order remain unpaid. Boily also agreed not to act as a Qualified Person for life.
"The terms of this settlement send a strong message that the Commission will not tolerate misconduct by Qualified Persons, particularly conduct which runs contrary to the important gatekeeper role played by Qualified Persons in the securities disclosure regime," said Tom Atkinson, Director of Enforcement at the Ontario Securities Commission.
A copy of the Settlement Agreement and Order of the Commission in this matter are available on the OSC website at www.osc.gov.on.ca.
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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