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by Mike Caswell
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a motion for a default judgment of up to $12.2-million against Quebec's Jean-Francois Amyot, citing his "especially egregious" conduct in a 2010 pump-and-dump. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) The SEC says he sold 22 million unregistered shares of a pink sheets company called Spencer Pharmaceuticals Inc. while orchestrating a bogus takeover. The scheme involved several false and misleading news releases, and resulted in profits to Mr. Amyot of $5.8-million, according to the SEC.
The SEC's request comes about 19 months after the regulator first charged him for the scheme. The SEC said that he and others were behind a 10-month manipulation that culminated with the purported $245-million takeover bid for Spencer. Among other things, Mr. Amyot created the content for 20 news releases that the company issued about the false takeover, the SEC claimed. He also had a role in a fake letter that guaranteed the purported buyer had access to $500-million, according to the SEC.
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