Montréal - On April 13, 2015, the Bureau de décision et de révision (the "Bureau") ordered Alexander Asgary to pay an administrative penalty of $25,000 and banned him from acting as a director or officer of an issuer for an 18-month period for influencing or attempting to influence the market price or the value of securities of a reporting issuer by means of unfair, improper or fraudulent practices.
Alexander Asgary acknowledge that he influenced or attempted to influence the market price or the value of securities of a reporting issuer by making biased comments in chat rooms for investors. Using pseudonyms and without disclosing his relationship with the issuer, Mr. Asgary published 269 messages between October 18, 2007 and January 20, 2011 in an attempt to promote and illegally influence the market price or value of the issuer's securities.
In its decision, the Bureau ruled that, although no tangible influence had been exercised, the respondent should be harshly punished since this type of offence, one of the most serious under the law, could undermine public confidence in the financial markets.
This matter shows why investors should use caution regarding statements made anonymously in chat rooms.
The Autorité des marchés financiers (the "AMF") is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec's financial sector.
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