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by Mike Caswell
West Vancouver's Frederick Sharp, accused of helping pump-and-dumps that produced $1-billion gains, has protested a court order the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking against him in British Columbia. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) The SEC is attempting to freeze his assets so that it can collect a judgment that it won against Mr. Sharp in Boston. The only particular asset that the SEC has identified is a 2018 Volkswagen Golf, but the regulator is seeking a freeze over anything of value that Mr. Sharp owns.
The legal sparring stems from a U.S. case in which the SEC cited Mr. Sharp for an offshore network he ran that allowed insiders and others to secretly dump millions of shares. Mr. Sharp ignored the case, and the SEC won a default judgment against him on May 12, 2022. The judgment includes disgorgement of $21.7-million in gains, plus interest, as well as a $23.9-million fine, with the amounts still outstanding.
As part of its effort to collect the money, the SEC filed an application in the Supreme Court of British Columbia on Aug. 11, 2022, in which it sought a freeze order for assets held by Mr. Sharp and other Vancouver-area defendants. While other defendants had homes worth millions of dollars, the SEC was only able to identify one asset belonging to Mr. Sharp, with that asset being the Volkswagen Golf. The SEC did not specify a value for the car, but even when new it would not have sold for more than $30,000 (Canadian).
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