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by Mike Caswell
Vancouver's Avtar Dhillon has accepted a permanent ban and has agreed to pay $10.4-million to settle charges he faces from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a scheme to improperly sell millions of dollars worth of shares on the U.S. markets. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) The SEC claimed that Mr. Dhillon secretly held large blocks of shares in two OTC Markets listings, including one that touted a supposed surgical tool for controlling bleeding. He sold the shares amidst a scheme in which he and others unloaded $45.6-million worth of stock, the SEC said.
The penalties for Mr. Dhillon are contained in a proposed judgment filed on Friday, Sept. 8, in federal court in Boston. The judgment permanently bars Mr. Dhillon from penny stocks and orders him to disgorge $9.1-million in gains, plus interest. The penalties represent a negotiated settlement, which still requires approval from the judge.
For Mr. Dhillon, the SEC case is just one of his legal troubles. He previously pleaded guilty to related criminal charges in Boston. Authorities took him into custody on those charges on Aug. 4, 2021, at his residence in California. He was later released on conditions that included a $1.5-million bond, location monitoring and a curfew. He pleaded guilty on Dec. 7, 2022, and awaits sentencing.
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