From April 2008 to June 2010, an Ontario rep deposited and misused more than $19 million in investor funds.
Vincent Ciccone, a resident of Cambridge, Ontario, was the sole officer and director of Ciccone Group, an Ontario company incorporated on August 18, 1992. The company was supposedly one of the fastest growing niche financial venture companies in Canada.
Ciccone traded in Ciccone Group securities when they were not registered with the commission, and when no exemptions from registration were available. The funds raised were from various distributions of securities, and weren’t used for investment purposes.
Other than using the proceeds to pay fake interest and redemptions to investors, proceeds were directed to business ventures that Ciccone was involved in, or were given to charities, friends, associates and/or companies he controlled.
The OSC says investors were falsely led to believe they would receive returns of more 20%, which was stated in promissory notes they were sold.
Then, Ciccone Group was assigned into bankruptcy in November 2010, despite owing over $17 million to customers.
Though Ciccone was registered as a salesperson in the dealer category of a limited market dealer from November 2004 to August 2005, he wasn’t registered in any capacity during the time of his misconduct.
Read: Takeaway: Fraud lessons
Ciccone not only agrees to disgorge approximately $15 million, but also agrees to the following penalties:
- Trading in any securities by Ciccone shall cease permanently from the date of the order approving this settlement agreement;
- The acquisition of any securities by Ciccone is prohibited permanently from the date of this order;
- Any exemptions contained in Ontario securities law do not apply to Ciccone permanently from the date of this order;
- Ciccone is reprimanded;
- Ciccone is prohibited permanently from the date of this order from becoming or acting as a director or officer of any issuer, registrant or investment fund manager;
- Ciccone is prohibited permanently from the date of this order from becoming or acting as a registrant, an investment fund manager or a promoter;
- Ciccone shall pay to the commission an administrative penalty in the amount of $750,000 for his failure to comply with Ontario securities law;
- Ciccone shall pay costs to the commission in the amount of $100,000.
Read the settlement agreement.