Ontario Securities Commission increases proceedings by 70% in 2013

TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission says the number of proceedings it concluded against individuals and companies soared in 2013, although the number of new enforcement cases declined slightly.

The OSC, which is responsible for regulating capital markets in Ontario, says enforcement actions were concluded against 170 individuals and companies last year, up from 100 in 2012.

Of these, 71 were concluded by way of contested hearings before the commission, versus 60 in 2012; 95 by way of settlement agreements compared with 36 in 2012, and four by way of court proceedings under securities legislation.

The number of sanctions imposed by the OSC increased during the year and included 159 cease-trade orders compared with 80 in 2012, 67 director and officer bans, up from 49, and 118 exemption removals compared with 72 in 2012.

There were also 81 registration restrictions, up from 58 the previous year.

In addition, the OSC secured a total of 63 months in jail sentences against four defendants, up from 21 months against two defendants in 2012.

Meanwhile, the commission said the number of new enforcement cases launched over the year declined to 27 from 30 as the number of cases involving alleged fraud dropped to nine from 15.