|Accused fraudster banned from trading|
Chris Purdy, The StarPhoenix
Published: Friday, April 11, 2008
Any stock market bans issued out of a pending U.S. securities trial cannot be imposed across the border on alleged fraudster Urban Casavant.
But a previous order issued by the Saskatchewan Financial Services Commission (SFSC) remains in effect, banning the Prince Albert man from dealing securities in the province.
An order preventing Casavant's former diamond mining company, CMKM Diamonds Inc., from selling shares is also in place in Manitoba.
The Alberta Securities Commission held a hearing Wednesday seeking a reciprocal order. That decision is pending.
Casavant, a 51-year-old former prison guard and U-haul franchise owner in Prince Albert, was among 11 people charged earlier this week with fraud and other offences by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The SEC alleges the group conspired to illegally sell billions of shares of unregistered CMKM stock, stealing at least $64 million from 40,000 investors around the world between 2003 and 2005.
The company claimed to hold mineral rights in the Fort a la Corne region east of Prince Albert and sent out phony media releases about its discoveries.
Casavant, running the scheme out a home in Las Vegas, allegedly pocketed $31.5 million and blew most of the money on a lavish lifestyle that included high-roller gambling at casinos.
He resigned from the company in 2007 and returned to Canada.
"He's totally wrongly accused," Casavant's brother Victor said from his home in Vegreville, Alta. on Thursday.
He refused to comment further on the case.
Victor Casavant was sanctioned in Alberta in 1995 for improperly distributing securities from his company Striker Minerals Ltd. He returned $60,000 to one shareholder and paid a $1,000 fine.
The SEC and SFSC both issued temporary cease-trade ordered against Casavant and CMKM in 2004. The following year, Saskatchewan extended its order indefinitely and the SEC issued a final order de-registering the company's stock.
The current SEC charges relate to a civil case seeking fines and the return of what's left of the stolen investment money.
The SEC is also seeking an order preventing Casavant from acting as an officer or director of any public company in the U.S.
© The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2008