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by Mike Caswell
After a eight-day trial, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has won its case against former Vancouverite Robert Hillis Miller, who it accused of running a $1.39-million scheme on the OTC Markets. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) A Maryland jury has found that he failed to disclose shares that he held through front companies in Uruguay. Those front companies sold the stock in what the SEC claimed was an unregistered offering.
The findings against Mr. Miller are contained in a verdict reached on Friday, June 16. The jury deliberated for just over a day before deciding the case in the SEC's favour. (SEC cases are civil matters, which means that the verdict did not come in the form of guilty or not guilty. Instead, the jury answered a series of questions, marking each question with a handwritten check mark indicating that it had determined the case in the SEC's favour.)
Friday's verdict does not include any penalties for Mr. Miller. With the matter of liability determined, he and the SEC must make submissions on what they see as an appropriate sanction. When it filed the case, the SEC sought a fine, disgorgement of gains (which it calculated to be $1.39-million), and an officer and director ban. Mr. Miller will undoubtedly see the matter differently than the SEC, but he has not yet filed anything setting out his position on penalties.
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