TORONTO, March 14, 2013 /CNW/ - Michael Chomica was sentenced to two years in jail today after pleading guilty to three counts of fraud contrary to section 126.1 of the Securities Act (Ontario), before the Honourable Justice Brent Knazan of the Ontario Court of Justice.
Chomica admitted to being the architect of two fraudulent advance-fee schemes that targeted investors in Ontario, Europe, the United Kingdom, Africa and Asia, as well as arranging for bank accounts, under his control, to be used in a third fraudulent advance-fee scheme that primarily targeted investors residing in the United Kingdom. In total, investors lost approximately $591,470 in combined U.S. and Canadian funds as a result of the three schemes.
Chomica's involvement in the schemes began around October 2009 and ran until November 2010 when the OSC executed a search warrant at Chomica's residence in downtown Toronto.
Chomica continues to be subject to a cease trade order prohibiting him from trading in securities. The cease trade order was first made by the OSC on November 4, 2010 in relation to this matter. The cease trade order and other documents related to this matter are available on the OSC website at www.osc.gov.on.ca.
Under section 122 of the Act, the OSC 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 OSC 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 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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