A capital markets fraud investigation involving the RCMP and several securities regulators is under way into an apparent “pump and dump” stock promotion mail campaign that has blanketed the country over the past few months and caused wild swings in the shares of a tiny Canadian mining exploration company.
In April and May, letters were delivered to households in cities across the country by Canada Post, aggressively promoting shares in Crestview Exploration Inc., a British Columbia-registered gold exploration company that trades for pennies on the Canadian Securities Exchange.
Feeding off fears of pending economic catastrophe brought on by the coronavirus pandemic – and gold’s status as a safe haven investment – the letter claimed investors would strike it rich by buying shares in Crestview.
“CORONAVIRUS AFFECTING MARKETS: READ NOW,” the envelope said in red capital letters. Inside, a stock-picking wizard called James Campbell wrote that shares in Crestview were poised to “explode” by more than 500 per cent.
“I’ve stumbled upon what I firmly believe could be 2020’s greatest Canadian success story,“ wrote Mr. Campbell, who claimed to be a graduate of Harvard Business School and a Stanford University-educated geologist.
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