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SEC obtains asset freeze against Bajic, others

2020-01-10 20:35 ET - Street Wire

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by Mike Caswell

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has won an asset freeze order against Vancouver's Steve Bajic and others, with a judge finding it is "reasonably likely" that the group participated in the illegal sale of shares in at least 45 companies. The freeze order applies to a long list of accounts, most of which are overseas and out of reach. There are, however, a handful in Canada and the United States.

The freeze order comes as part of a case in which the SEC claims that Mr. Bajic and others helped insiders of public companies secretly unload millions of shares over a four-year period. He and his associates provided what the SEC calls a "layer of disguise," distributing stock amongst several private entities. The accused in the case include two other Canadians: Rajesh Taneja and Christopher McKnight.

The asset freeze is contained in an order handed down on Thursday, Jan. 9, in New York by Judge Lorna Schofield. It directs several banks and brokerages to hold any money in accounts in the names of Mr. Bajic, Mr. Taneja, and a long list of private overseas entities. It is not clear just how much money the SEC expects to find in the accounts, although it previously said that they held up to $42-million. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) Most of the accounts are in Singapore and Hong Kong, beyond the SEC's immediate reach.

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