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by Mike Caswell
Surrey resident John Kirk has agreed to pay $597,394 and to accept a permanent ban to settle boiler room charges he faced from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) The SEC claimed that he was part of a scheme that generated millions of dollars by boosting two pink sheets listings with bogus claims about solar power and an infomercial business. He and others sold millions of shares through offshore accounts and foreign nominees, the SEC said.
Mr. Kirk's settlement is contained in a proposed judgment filed in federal court in New York on Friday, March 17. The judgment bars him from penny stocks and from acting as an officer or director. His financial penalty includes disgorgement of $493,124 in profits plus interest of $104,269. In agreeing to the penalties, Mr. Kirk did not admit to any wrongdoing. The deal still must receive approval from the judge.
The financial penalty is a substantial downward departure from the $16.2-million that the SEC had previously sought for Mr. Kirk. The reason for the change is that the SEC has now agreed to accept just the profits that it can attribute to him, whereas before it had asked that he pay for the entire gains from the scheme. The amount that he has agreed to pay includes money that he realized through an account in his mother's name at Canaccord Genuity Corp.
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