TORONTO, March 1, 2013 /CNW/ - A panel of the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) today released its Reasons and Decision on Sanctions and Costs, permanently banning Empire Consulting Inc. (Empire) and its president and founder, Desmond Chambers (Chambers), from trading in securities for their roles in raising approximately $1,493,108 from the sale of the debt elimination strategy (DES) program to approximately 26 Ontario investors. Investors were encouraged to remortgage their homes in order to provide funds to invest in the DES program.
In today's decision, the OSC panel observed that Empire and Chambers "exploited the weaknesses of modest, hard-working individuals who trusted and relied upon false representations to their detriment." Empire and Chambers were found to have perpetrated a fraud on the Empire investors which resulted in irreversible financial harm to the Empire investors. Accordingly, the OSC panel ordered that Empire and Chambers jointly pay an administrative penalty of $300,000. Empire and Chambers were also ordered to jointly and severally pay $859,555 in disgorgement and $235,502.15 in costs.
The OSC panel found in its decision on the merits, released August 16, 2012, that "[n]otwithstanding that Empire was unprofitable, Chambers was using investor funds for personal expenses when Empire was consistently losing on its investments in the Forex Accounts." The OSC panel also found that Empire and Chambers "continuously misrepresented to investors that their investments were growing at incredible rates at a time when the only returns achieved by Empire were negative returns."
A copy of the Reasons and Decision on Sanctions and Costs is available on the OSC website at www.osc.gov.on.ca.The mandate of the OSC is to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices and to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in capital markets. Investors are urged to check the registration of any person or company offering an investment opportunity and to review the OSC's investor materials available at www.osc.gov.on.ca SOURCE Ontario Securities Commission