TORONTO, Sept. 28, 2012 /CNW/ - In a decision released yesterday, an Ontario Securities Commission panel found that Gordon Driver (Driver), Axcess Automation LLC and other companies (the Axcess Companies), Steven M. Taylor (Taylor), Berkshire Management Services Inc. and other companies (the Taylor Companies), Reynold Mainse and World Class Communications Inc. (WCC) breached the Ontario Securities Act in connection with raising more than $15 million from 252 investors (all figures in US dollars).
In its decision, the Panel found that Driver, the Axcess Companies, Taylor and the Taylor Companies breached the Securities Act by committing a fraud upon investors, trading securities without being registered and trading securities without filing a prospectus with the Commission. Reynold Mainse and WCC traded securities without registration, but were not party to the fraud.
The Panel found that two schemes were operated. Both schemes were premised on Driver's purported use of investors' funds to trade E-mini S & P 500 futures using proprietary software to generate superior returns. In fact, of more than $15 million received from investors by Driver, only about $3.6 million was used to trade in E-mini 500 S & P futures, and Driver incurred a cumulative net loss of about $3.5 million. The Panel found that despite this, Driver represented that the Axcess Investments were generating substantial returns, clearly knowing that his fraudulent acts would cause deprivation to investors. The Panel held that Taylor was aware of the fraudulent nature of his and Driver's actions, and made false and misleading representations to investors and put their funds at significant risk.
As part of the schemes, about $10 million was returned to investors. The Panel found that even though not all investors suffered losses, their money was put at significant risk because most of it was diverted to pay Driver's personal expenses, commissions, or returns to investors. In many cases, investors were paid with proceeds of investments made by subsequent investors.
The Panel ordered the parties to appear before the panel on November 7, 2012 for a hearing with respect to sanctions and costs.
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. Cease trade orders prohibit individuals or companies from trading in securities. Investors are urged to check the registration of any person or company offering an investment opportunity and to review the OSC investor materials available at www.osc.gov.on.ca.
Staff acknowledge and appreciate the assistance provided in this matter by staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
SOURCE: Ontario Securities Commission
For further information:
For Media Inquiries:
Manager, Public Affairs
Media Relations Specialist
Follow us on Twitter: OSC_News
For Investor Inquiries:
OSC Contact Centre
1-877-785-1555 (Toll Free)