Ms. Alison Walker reports
BCSC PANEL MAKES DISGORGEMENT ORDERS AGAINST THREE INDIVIDUALS
A British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) panel has issued orders under Section 161(1)(g) of the Securities Act, commonly referred to as disgorgement orders, against three individuals.
In August, 2014, the panel found that between September, 2007, and March, 2009, Thalbinder Poonian, Shailu Poonian, Robert Joseph Leyk, Manjit Sihota and Perminder Sihota engaged in a market manipulation. In March, 2015, the BCSC ordered permanent market bans against all five respondents and ordered that they pay $7,332,936 in disgorgement to the BCSC, jointly and severally, in addition to various administrative penalties.
Thalbinder Poonian and Shailu Poonian as well as Manjit Sihota and Perminder Sihota were granted leave to appeal the disgorgement order. Mr. Leyk did not seek leave to appeal. The B.C. Court of Appeal confirmed that the net aggregate trading gains resulting from the market manipulation amounted to $7,332,936. However, the B.C. Court of Appeal set aside the disgorgement orders against the Poonians and Sihotas and sent the matter back to the BCSC to determine what proportion of the $7,332,936 was, directly or indirectly, obtained by each person.
Following the B.C. Court of Appeal's instructions, the panel found that each respondent directly obtained the net trading gains in his or her brokerage account. In particular, Shailu Poonian directly obtained $3,149,935, Thalbinder Poonian directly obtained $746,676 and Perminder Sihota directly obtained $1,126,260.
The panel also found that Thalbinder Poonian indirectly obtained amounts from the brokerage accounts that he controlled in the names of nominees. The panel found that he indirectly obtained $572,491 from the accounts of secondary participants in the manipulation and $1,126,260 from Perminder Sihota's accounts.
Considering the amount each respondent directly and indirectly obtained, the panel made the following disgorgement orders against the respondents:
Shailu Poonian to pay the BCSC $3,149,935;
Thalbinder Poonian to pay the BCSC $1,319,167;
Thalbinder Poonian and Perminder Sihota to pay the BCSC $1,126,260 on a joint-and-several basis.
The panel did not make any disgorgement orders against Manjit Sihota.
You may view the decision on BCSC'S website by typing Thalbinder Poonian, Shailu Poonian, Manjit Sihota, Perminder Sihota or 2018 BCSECCOM 160 in the search box. Information about disciplinary proceedings can be found in the enforcement section of the BCSC website.
Please visit the Canadian Securities Administrators' (CSA) disciplined list for information relating to persons and companies disciplined by provincial securities regulators, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA).
About the British Columbia Securities Commission
The B.C. Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating capital markets in British Columbia through the administration of the Securities Act. Its mission is to protect and promote the public interest by fostering:
A securities market that is fair and warrants public confidence;
A dynamic and competitive securities industry that provides investment opportunities and access to capital.
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