VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Flamboyant stock promoter Murray Pezim was suspended Monday from trading for one year after violating disclosure requirements and misleading the Vancouver Stock Exchange on several occasions.
Ron Messent, spokesman for the British Columbia Securities Commission, said in an interview Pezim will be unable to trade anywhere in Canada for a year and could also be suspended in the United States.
Pezim, who for years has dominated the Vancouver Stock Exchange and trading circles in Vancouver, spent an estimated $1.5 million defending himself against charges of insider trading, disclosure violations and misleading the exchange and the public about their publicly-traded companies.
His partners in Prime Resources Group Inc., Calpine Resources Inc. and about 50 other public companies were also suspended from trading for a year.
Pezim's scam involved the gold-rich Eskay Creek property in northwestern British Columbia. According to the British Columbia Securites Commission, Pezim withheld spectacular drilling results on the property while he and his partners, John Ivany and Lawrence Page strengthened their personal positions in Prime Resources and Calpine. The trio then made misleading statements to the Vancouver Stock Exchange through company reports and press releases.
According to a statement released Monday by the British Columbia Securities Commission, shares in Prime Resources and Calpine were the most actively traded listings on the Vancouver Stock Exchange in 1989.
'It is damaging to public confidence in the integrity of the securities market and prejudicial to the public interest when such significant market participants contravene basic and fundamental rules,' the Commission said. Pezim, who spends much of his time in Arizona, had said earlier he would move his business from British Columbia if he was not cleared of the charges. 'That's it. It's goodbye, adios,' he said during the Securities Commission trial last summer.