Market Manipulation: Alberta Securities Commission clamps down on pump and dump scheme
Lawrence E. Ritchie, Tristram Mallett, Devon Luca, 23 March 2021
The Alberta Securities Commission (the “ASC”) recently issued its reasons in Re Kilimanjaro Capital Ltd., 2021 ABASC 14 (the “Decision”). The ASC concluded the control person of Kilimanjaro Capital Ltd. (“Kilimanjaro”), Ashmit Patel, engaged in, among other things, market manipulating conduct intended artificially to inflate Kilimanjaro’s share price so that he could profit.
The Decision highlights the extensive cross-border cooperation between the United States Security and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) and Canadian Securities Administrators (“CSAs”). The Decision also strengthens the existing legal framework relating to misleading promotional materials. As we have written previously, regulators are grappling with how to regulate an evolving market in which information posted on social media can significantly influence market valuations. The Decision lays useful groundwork that can be used to regulate legitimate trading practices used for improper purposes.