Fundraisers face $9 million in sanctions

By James Langton | June 26, 2023 | Last updated on June 26, 2023
2 min read

The perpetrators of a corporate fundraising scheme that saw investors lose almost $5 million have been banned and hit with more than $9 million in penalties, disgorgement and costs.

In September 2022, the Ontario’s Capital Markets Tribunal found that Global Bioenergy Resources Inc. and its principals, Maurice Aziz and Harish Bajaj, perpetrated securities fraud and carried out illegal distributions when they raised approximately $4.46 million from 80 investors who invested in debentures of First Global Data Ltd. The tribunal also found the company and Aziz committed fraud when another investor loaned $450,000 to Global Bioenergy.

“The investors lost all their money,” the tribunal noted.

Following a hearing, the tribunal has imposed sanctions in the case, ordering $4.91 million in disgorgement against Global Bioenergy, Bajaj, Aziz and First Global. The tribunal also ordered $3.175 million in monetary sanctions, and more than $1 million in costs against the various respondents.

Global Bioenergy was hit with the largest penalty, $825,000, followed by $750,000 against Bajaj and $725,000 for Aziz.

Additionally, First Global was ordered to pay $300,000, and that company’s principals, Andre Itwaru and Nayeem Alli, were ordered to pay administrative penalties of $300,000 and $275,000, respectively. The tribunal found they violated securities law by issuing financial statements that improperly recognized revenue.

Global Bioenergy, Bajaj and Aziz were also permanently banned. First Global was prohibited from trading for seven years, and Itwaru and Alli were banned for five years (and banned from serving as directors or officers for seven years).

“Each of the three contraventions related to the First Global debentures (illegal distribution, engaging in the business of trading without being registered, and fraud) is inherently serious. The investors lost all their funds. None of the individual respondents sought to cause a loss for investors, but Itwaru and Alli were inattentive, and Bajaj and Aziz were reckless or cavalier,” the tribunal noted in its decision.

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James Langton

James is a senior reporter for and its sister publication, Investment Executive. He has been reporting on regulation, securities law, industry news and more since 1994.