The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) published a notice on March 19, 2020 warning investors about companies claiming to have products or services that will prevent, detect or cure coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. According to the notice fraudsters taking advantage of the current situation to attract potential investors with the expectations of significant returns through pump-and-dump schemes involving publicly traded small “shell” companies which are offering fraudulent opportunities related to COVID-19.
In a separate release the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) announced on March 19, 2020 that in response to the COVID-19 that most OSC staff will be working from home. There will be limiting external access to our offices to only those required for essential operations.
In response to market participants working remotely the OSC states that it “will be flexible in our regulatory expectations during this difficult time.” On-site compliance reviews and planned Risk Assessment Questionnaire are postponed until further notice. Normal-course registration and compliance activities will continue as planned, however we will be flexible on deadlines for information.
The OSC will not be holding in-person hearings until at least April 30, 2020. The Office of the Secretary will reach out to parties with hearings scheduled between now and April 30 to determine if a hearing may proceed via teleconference or in writing.
For more information see: https://www.osc.gov.on.ca/en/covid-19-update.htm
For more information, please call Barbara Hendrickson at BAX Securities Law (416) 601 -1004.
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