Calgary pair charged in alleged pump and dump scheme

 

Coastal Pacific Mining CEO Joe Bucci, and International Securities Group principal Caroline Meyers face possible jail time and a fine of up to $5 million.

The Alberta Securities Commission has laid 16 charges against two Calgary-area residents in connection with an alleged 2010 pump and dump scheme involving securities of Coastal Pacific Mining Corp. (OTCQB: CPMCFStock Forum).

Coastal Pacific Mining is a company that featured in a Stockhouse Short Reportback in November, 2010 when we reported that a series of promotional stock alerts had sent the stock to 81 cents, a move that appeared to have enriched Joe Bucci, the company’s chief executive officer and biggest shareholder.

At the time, the rally was supported by the announcement of option agreements that gave the company exploration rights on mineral properties in Ontario and Peru.

However, Coastal has been a disaster for anyone who paid over 80 cents for the stock, as it was being quoted at a fraction of a penny this week, leaving the company with a market cap of just $1.1 million, based on 226.9 million sharesoutstanding. The 52-week range is $0.0295 and $0.001.

Meanwhile, ASC staff have charged Bucci and Caroline Meyers, the principal of Calgary-based International Securities Group Inc. with trading without registration or a prospectus and allegedly making prohibited transactions.

ASC staff allege that Bucci and Meyers collaborated in setting up Coastal Pacific as a “pump and dump” shell company over a number of years, finally implementing the market manipulation that allegedly occurred in late 2010.

ASC spokesman Mark Dickey said charges have been laid under the Alberta Securities Act.

They include:

  • Seven counts of trading securities without registration.
  • Seven counts of trading in securities without filing a prospectus.
  • One count of conduct that contributed to the false and misleading appearance of trading actively in securities.
  • One count of conduct that contributed to an artificial price for the stock.

The charges carry a maximum fine of $5 million and or a jail term of five years less a day for each contravention of the act.

These allegations remain unproven until such times as they are tested in a court of law.

A set date hearing is scheduled for March 8, 2013 at the Calgary Courts Centre. Dickey said the case is expected to be heard in an Alberta provincial court.

As noted by Short Report, regulatory filings say Bucci is a self-employed business consultant with Ox Financial Corp., a company that owned 41% of Coastal Pacific, while sharing the same business address as the junior at 927 Drury Avenue, N.E. Calgary.

Bucci, who according to company filings, is Ox’s sole shareholder, was named Coastal Pacific’s chief executive officer, chief financial officer, director and secretary on August 26, 2010, following a change of control.

Regulatory filings say Bucci became the company’s CEO after Coastal Pacific issued 39 million shares to Ox to settle an $184,413 debt in June, 2010.

Following a 2.5 for one stock split, Ox received an additional 55.3 million shares in June, 2010, raising its total holdings to 92.2 million shares, or 41%.

Meanwhile, regulatory filings show that Coastal Pacific has generated zero revenue since its inception under the Business Corporations Act of Alberta in March, 2007. In the year ended April 30, 2012, the company posted a net loss of $391,069 or $0.00 per share.

That compared to a year earlier loss of $2.9 million or $0.01.

“Since our inception, we have been an exploration stage company engaged in the identification, acquisition, and where feasible, the exploration of mineral properties,’’ the company said in a recent regulatory filing. 

“We have entered into a number of option/joint venture agreements for exploration prospects, all of which, with the exception of two option agreements, have been terminated either due to lack of funds [or terrain or weather constraints].”

 
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