David Sidoo, a Vancouver businessman, is facing new charges of fraud, this time for allegedly participating in a multi-year “pump-and-dump” scheme that defrauded investors out of more than US$145 million.
The allegations were made public on Thursday in a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) complaint filed in the Southern District of New York district court. Sidoo, as well as seven other people named.
The complaint details a scheme that operated between 2006 and 2020.
According to the SEC, the group obtained controlling interests in companies, concealed their collective control of the stock, funded deceptive promotional campaigns to stir up the interest of unsuspecting investors, and then unloaded their stock holdings to profit from the inflated stock price.
According to the SEC, Sidoo conspired with that ring on two pump-and-dump schemes involving stock in North American Oil & Gas Corp. and American Helium Inc.
To hide the fact that he was the benefactor of stock transactions, Sidoo used offshore “omnibus vehicles and front businesses.” According to the SEC, he failed to disclose his beneficial ownership and register his stock sales as required by law.
To transfer the stock, the ring used Swiss financial services portals. According to the SEC, Sidoo and his co-conspirators illegally pulled in a sweet US$15.23 million by selling their North American Oil stock in 2013 and 2014, and another US$1.45 million by selling their American Helium shares in 2018-2020.
Sidoo, who worked as a stock broker for eight years in the 1990s, would have been well aware of the federal securities rules that the plan broke, according to the SEC.
The SEC is seeking stock-trading restraining orders against the defendants, as well as the repayment of “ill-gotten” earnings.
Sidoo has not been charged criminally. He has rejected all charges in the SEC lawsuit through his lawyer. In court, none of the claims have been proven.
The Department of Justice revealed that four of his accused collaborators mentioned in the SEC filing, including Bauer, a dual citizen of Canada and the United Kingdom, and two other Canadians, Craig Auringer and Curtis Lehner, are facing related wire and securities fraud charges.
Dominic Calabrigo, Julius Csurgo, and Anthony Corculanic, all Canadian residents, are facing criminal charges in connection with the alleged conspiracy.
In 2020, Sidoo, a businessman, philanthropist, and former CFL player, pled guilty to his role in the high-profile college admissions fraud in the United States and was sentenced to 90 days in prison.
Prosecutors alleged he hired someone to take SAT tests for his sons and then attempted to pay for more tests on top of that.
According to Vancouver Sun “honours bestowed on him for his athletic achievements and charitable works have been stripped away” and continued with “Sidoo’s membership in the Order of British Columbia was terminated in June. The businessman’s name has also been removed from the field at UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium, formerly known as David Sidoo Field.”