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by Mike Caswell
The Alberta Securities Commission has found that Calgary's Jim Can, also known as Cem Can, was behind the fraudulent pump-and-dump of Bluforest Inc., an OTC Markets company that went to $2 amidst a paid touting campaign in 2013. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) He arranged for scores of tout sheets that boosted the stock with claims of a $698-million asset in Ecuador, the ASC has determined. At the same time, he dumped large blocks of shares he held through offshore entities.
The findings are contained in a decision that the ASC released on Thursday, Aug. 27. They come after a hearing that was spread over 14 days, starting on March 6, 2019. A three-member panel heard from 13 witnesses and from lawyers representing Mr. Can and another respondent in the case, former Bluforest president Charles Miller.
The case stems from a scheme that Mr. Can and Mr. Miller ran in 2012. The men boosted Bluforest with claims to have a 135,000-hectare property in Ecuador for which the company owned carbon credit rights. The stock went to $2 as several tout sheets issued the nonsense typical of such promotional campaigns. Among them was a service called Market Bulls (apparently "Your #1 Investor Resource On-Line"), which said it expected to receive $200,000 for promoting the company. It said investors should be able to make 10 times their investment in Bluforest. "Do your DD now before it's too late and BLUF soars to tremendous highs without you!" it advised. Unfortunately for investors, the stock fizzled within months, and was last at 0.0001 cent.
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