Takeaways from the CSA 2017/2018 Enforcement Report


The Canadian Securities Administrators recently released its 2017/2018 enforcement report, identifying numbers and strategic areas that they intend to pursue while also reporting on decreased overall activity in the enforcement of securities legislation in Canada.In its report, they identify pursuing binary options as the fastest growing source of investor fraud in Canada. They also report continuing debate as to how to treat cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings that may be fraudulently undertaken given the heightened public interest in such offerings. They've created a specific investment fraud task force to deal with the issue of cryptocurrency enforcement work. Ascendion Law is happy to see the CSA address “Pump and Dump” again, as they have called and held their summit in Calgary in late September 2017.

We receive numerous inquiries, particularly from issuers and other solicitors who serve those issuers, as they see individuals and firms who use automated press and news release technology in order to flood public domain with messages about a particular stock. Sometimes it's positive, sometimes it's negative, depending on whether the principal is seeking to push up or push down a price of a stock. Given the use and prevalence of automated media release technology, this has become a significant issue. Even for legitimate purposes, issuers often feel that they need to employ these tactics in order to generate the types of interest they feel they require. This can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars and is an expense that many cannot bear. However, the pursuit of illegal activity using such technologies would assist in lessening pressure on issuers to use this dubious service.