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Ian Telfer — one of Canada’s most prominent mining executives and chairman of Goldcorp Inc. — helped an old friend, the executive assistant of GMP Securities LP’s chairman, disguise an illegal insider tipping and trading scheme, the Ontario Securities Commission claims in a statement of allegations released Tuesday.
The OSC alleges that in at least two cases Mr. Telfer advised Eda Marie Agueci to communicate using her BlackBerry’s PIN-based messaging service to keep her activities secret from GMP. The securities regulator also alleges Mr. Telfer helped Ms. Agueci facilitate a secret trade in a company that eventually became Gold Wheaton Inc.
“His conduct was contrary to the public interest,” the OSC alleges.
The allegations against Mr. Telfer are part of a larger OSC case that names Ms. Agueci, who worked at GMP Securities for about 20 years, as the “central figure” in a scheme in which she is alleged to have used her position to access non-public information on pending deals, then pass this information to eight other individuals.
None of the allegations involve shares of Goldcorp, which, with a $39-billion market capitalization, is Canada’s ninth most valuable company.
The OSC says Mr. Telfer wasn’t a participant in the alleged insider trading and tipping scheme.
“I’m very surprised at how the OSC is reacting to this,” Mr. Telfer said in an interview Tuesday.
The OSC claims that Mr. Telfer gave Ms. Agueci a chance to buy 500,000 shares in 222 Pizza Express. The OSC says Mr. Telfer and Ms. Agueci agreed that the shares should not be purchased in her name to keep the transaction secret. They therefore agreed to conduct the trade in the name of her brother-in-law, Santo Iacono.
“That’s something that gets done all the time. There’s nothing wrong with it,” Mr. Telfer said in the interview. “That was it as far as I was concerned. What went on after that or anything else, I was totally unaware of and had nothing to do with.”
The broader illegal insider tipping-trading scheme allegedly took place between April 2007 and February 2008, and generated $962,000 in profits for the participants from trades in eight mining companies.
All the allegations have yet to be proven before an OSC hearing. The OSC has set March 21 as a date for a hearing in the matter.
In addition to Ms. Agueci and Mr. Iacono, the OSC has named Dennis Wing, Josephine Raponi, Kimberley Stephany, Henry Fiorillo, Joseph Fiorini, John Serpa, and Jacob Gornitzki as participants in the scheme. All were either friends or acquaintances of Ms. Agueci.
The corporate respondent is Pollen Services Ltd., which is a company based in British Virgin Islands that holds the assets of Mr. Wing’s offshore family trust, The Honey Trust.
For the rest of this article, please go to the National Post/Fiancial Post website: http://business.financialpost.com/2012/02/07/ian-telfer-helped-facilitate-actions-in-illegal-insider-tipping-and-trading-scheme-osc-alleges/