by Mike Caswell
Mark Harris, an OTC Bulletin Board promoter who lived in Vancouver, has been arrested on securities fraud charges in the United States. Prosecutors in California claim that he and a group of serial market manipulators generated more than $30-million in illegal profits in several pump-and-dumps. Authorities arrested Mr. Harris, 56, in Arizona on Wednesday, and he remains in custody.
Mr. Harris, originally from Calgary, has lived in Vancouver on and off for many years, holding himself out as an investor relations man. He ran a private firm called Skylla Capital Corp., which operated from an office on Burrard Street. The Vancouver Sun's David Baines reported in 2006 that he has a child with Jonni-Colleen Sissons, a former broker at Northern Securities Inc.
The charges against him are contained in a pair of indictments that allege he helped arrange and pay for promotional services for a number of OTC-BB listing. They include Genmed Holding Corp., a Dutch company that claimed to be developing generic drugs. According to prosecutors, Mr. Harris's co-defendants sold millions of Genmed shares in early 2011 while he helped with a promotional campaign that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.