The Supreme Court of Canada has refused to hear an appeal
from the Alberta Securities Commission in an insider trading
Analysts are divided on what effect denial will have on insider
The Supreme Court of Canada recently refused to hear an appeal
brought by the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) in relation to
an insider trading case, according to the Financial Post. The ASC
had been appealing an Alberta court's ruling that overturned
the ASC's conviction of three individuals for insider trading.
Analysts are so far divided about what the fallout from the Supreme
Court's refusal will be, noting that the case had been followed
closely by regulators across Canada. Some experts have suggested
that the refusal could lead to the ASC being more cautious in how
it prosecutes insider trading and other
business fraud cases.
The case related to the 2009 sale of an Edmonton-based company
to a U.S.-based one. The ASC panel had found five individuals
guilty of insider trading and other improper conduct in the run-up
to that sale. Provincial law prevents people from trading in
securities if they possess material information that other
investors do not have.
The five individuals appealed the ruling and an Alberta Court of
Appeal overturned the convictions of three of the men and suggested
the ASC reconsider its penalties against the other two men. The
court argued that the evidence against the men was not of
sufficient quality to justify the convictions. While the ASC had
tried to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court of Canada, that
appeal was recently denied.
Because the Supreme Court does not give reasons for denying to
hear an appeal, there has been much speculation about what this
particular refusal could mean for future insider trading cases,
according to the Calgary Herald. Some argue that the appeal was
likely denied because it did not relate to an interpretation of the
law, merely to the quality of evidence, and therefore should not
lead to any change in how insider trading cases are prosecuted.
Others, however, expressed disappointment with the Supreme
Court's denial. They claim that the denial will make it easier
for people convicted of insider trading to successfully appeal
their convictions. They claim that the Alberta Court of
Appeal's overturning of the original convictions makes it much
more difficult for the ASC to pursue charges of insider trading and
other cases of fraud. Critics contend that the Alberta court's
ruling creates an unrealistically high standard of evidence in
order to prosecute insider trading cases. The ASC itself has said
that while this particular case has led to some delays in other
fraud cases, it will nonetheless continue to pursue those suspected
of insider trading.
In commercial law, fraud is one of the most serious accusations
an individual can face. Whether a person suspects they have been
the victim of business fraud or are themselves defending against
such accusations, it is important to have experienced legal advice
on hand. A commercial litigation lawyer can provide individuals
with whatever help and guidance they need when dealing with issues
surrounding fraud accusations.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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All corporations should be concerned with conduct risk in 2017. The threat of loss, both financial and reputational, due to the actions of one, or many, managers or employees is greater than it has ever been.
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