Montréal - The Autorité des marchés financiers ("AMF") has launched a penal proceeding against Downshire Capital inc., Carol McKeown and Daniel Ryan for their involvement in market manipulation activities.
The AMF investigation revealed that Carol McKeown and Daniel Ryan influenced or attempted to influence the market price or the value of the securities of micro-cap companies listed primarily on the U.S. over-the-counter market, including the shares of Biocentric Energy Holdings Inc., Converge Global, Hydrogenetics and Quri Resources Inc.
The market manipulation scheme consisted in issuing misleading information by e-mail and via a website (www.pennystockchaser.com) that spoke highly about the activities or the growth potential of the above-mentioned companies and enticed investors to buy their shares and thereby artificially boosted the volume of transactions. The respondents are alleged to have benefited from this "pump and dump" scheme by selling their own holdings and pocketing hefty profits. The investigation revealed that the income derived from the transactions covered by the proceeding totalled approximately $1.9 million.
Carol McKeown faces four charges for influencing or attempting to influence the market price or the value of securities. She acted as an officer of Downshire Capital.
Daniel F. Ryan also faces four charges for influencing or attempting to influence the market price or the value of securities. He was considered to be one of the driving forces behind Downshire Capital inc.
As well, Downshire Capital inc. faces four charges for influencing or attempting to influence the market price or the value of securities. One of the company's activities was operating a website (www.pennystockchaser.com) that was used to generate lists of e-mails sent to potential investors containing misleading information.
Freeze and cease trade orders were also issued against the respondents in 2010.
The Autorité des marchés financiers (the AMF) is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec's financial sector.
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Sylvain Théberge: 514-940-2176