The US Securities and Exchange Commission is looking to freeze houses, vehicles, and other assets of seven British Columbians roped in an ongoing stock fraud case that amassed $1.3 billion is sales.
The agency has applied with the BC Supreme Court to lock up two luxury homes valued at more than $10 million and six vehicles, as well as compel the defendants to disclose all assets. One of the vehicles is owned by Frederick Sharp, deemed the “mastermind” of the scheme that ran an illegal enterprise perpetuating stock fraud violations, including concealing identities in exchange for lucrative fees.
The application is part of the regulatory body’s Securities Act suit against the British Columbians currently being heard in US District Court in Massachusetts, alleging that the defendants’ assets in the Canadian province could be used to set back the “ill-gotten gains.”
“The defendants each have assets within British Columbia and there is a real risk that any or all of them will dissipate those assets,” the SEC said.
Allegedly working with Sharp is Courtney Kelln, also one of the vehicle owners, and Zhiying Yvonne Gasarch, who is listed as a debtor with shares in a company as collateral.
The two houses being applied to be frozen are owned by Paul Sexton and Jackson T. Friesen, whose properties roped in the application are worth $7.24 million and $2.86 million, respectively. Sexton and Friesen, along with Mike K. Veldhuis whose vehicle is also being asked to be held up, were allegedly working together as Sharp’s significant clients in the scheme and inflated stock prices they secretly held positions on in a classic pump and dump.
Graham R. Taylor, another vehicle owner, is allegedly working with Sexton, Friesen, and Veldhuis.
The scheme ran for nine years, using offshore shell companies and an encrypted accounting and communication system. Sharp and his group racked as much as $1 billion in profit, the suit claimed.
The US court had a default ruling against Sharp when he did not respond to the allegations and ordered him to repay illicit profits and pay fines amounting to $68 million. A separate BC suit filed by the SEC sought to enforce in Canada a $37-million order to repay illicit profits component plus accrued interest.
But Sharp is fighting the suit in the province, saying that he was denied “procedural fairness and that the US court action has no jurisdiction over him.”
The other defendants are still fighting the US suit.
Information for this briefing was found via Vancouver Sun and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.