Golden woman receives three-year ban for illegal distributions

VANCOUVER, Nov. 19 /CNW/ - The British Columbia Securities Commission has settled with a retired teacher who admitted to helping illegally distribute approximately $475,000 in securities.

In the BCSC settlement agreement, Gaele McErvel, 66, a retired teacher from Golden, B.C., admitted that she helped Solara Technologies Inc. distribute securities to approximately 34 investors, some of whom were her friends or acquaintances. At the time, McErvel was not registered to trade securities.

Solara has never filed a prospectus to distribute securities, and for the purposes of settlement, McErvel agreed that the exemptions Solara claimed to rely upon to allow for the distributions did not apply in the circumstances.

McErvel and her family invested approximately $213,000 in Solara and its predecessor companies, and did not recover any of that investment. She did not receive any benefit for her involvement, and came forward with her concerns regarding the company's conduct.

Under the settlement agreement, McErvel is prohibited for three years from acting as a director or officer of any issuer, acting in a management or consultative capacity in connection with activities in the securities market, and engaging in investor relations activities. She is also banned for three years, except in limited circumstances, from trading in and purchasing any securities.

A hearing into similar allegations against William Dorn Beattie and Solara is scheduled to begin on Nov. 23, 2009.

The B.C. Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating trading in securities within the province. You may view the settlement agreement on our website by typing in the search box, Gaele McErvel or 2009 BCSECCOM 625. If you have questions, contact Ken Gracey, media relations, 604-899-6577.

Learn how to avoid investment fraud at the BCSC's investor education website:

SOURCE British Columbia Securities Commission

For further information: For further information: Ken Gracey, (604) 899-6577 or (Canada) 1-800-373-6393

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