A retired lawyer has been fined after an investigation into a stock market-related scheme involving millions of dollars.
Peter Merry, from Vancouver, received two years probation with certain guidelines, as well as a $6,375 fine and a $956.25 victim surcharge.
The B.C. RCMP said in a recent press release that Merry pled guilty on January 11 to an offence under section 50(3) of the Securities Act and reached a plea agreement.
According to section 50(3) of the Securities Act, a person engaged in a promotional activity must not make a statement or provide information that is false or can mislead investors into making a trade.
The investigation was done by the B.C. RCMP Integrated Market Enforcement Team, which led to Merry being criminally charged.
In a press release concerning the investigation, police said that Merry had three charges against him. The case went all the way back to 2013.
The investigation concerned a company called Life Stem Genetics, Inc., which was based out of California. Merry was a "central figure" at the company, according to police.
"On November 25, 2013, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission temporarily suspended trading in Life Stem Genetics, Inc.'s shares, citing concerns over the accuracy and adequacy of its disclosures," police said.
After the investigation, police alleged that "certain statements made to potential investors or partners were false."
It also revealed that Merry played a prominent role in distributing or publishing the claims that were alleged to be false.
Although Life Stem Genetics, Inc., was presenting as a thriving and innovative company, the police investigation discovered that it actually "had no clinics, no patients and no revenues."
Superintendent Brent Taylor said that although the victims felt a monetary loss, there were also other repercussions from the scheme.
"One victim reached out to Life Stem Genetics, Inc., seeking to treat a family member's seizures; instead, they were lured to invest in the company. No treatment was received and the victim lost $5000 and precious time not spent in actual treatment," Taylor said.
In the most recent update from the police, they said Merry can not "solicit any money, property or valuable security in any private or public company from any person," or "sell, promote, purchase, trade or distribute any security or securities" for two years.
The ban also means he cannot "engage in any investor relation activities," or "act as a director, officer, principal, promoter, consultant, manager, agent or insider for any company that sells, promotes, purchases, trades or distributes securities."