By Lethbridge Herald on April 15, 2015.
There is no evidence that proves one of three men facing dozens of charges under the Alberta Securities Act misled investors or withheld information from them while he raised money for a billion-dollar project, the accused’s lawyer said Tuesday.
In fact, Calgary defence lawyer David Kobylnyk told court during his closing arguments that his client Rand Tyler Stevenson rarely even met with many of the lenders, leaving fundraising duties to co-accused Brent Ray Derricott. Kobylnyk said if Derricott misled investors, Stevenson didn’t authorize it.
Stevenson, 62, Derricott, 63, and Michael Robert Smylski, 65, face a total of 62 charges under the Alberta Securities Act relating to unauthorized trading in securities.
Stevenson and Derricott are accused of trading in OCI Q Corp. securities without registration or a prospectus, making misleading or untrue statements to investors, and distributing securities without prospectus. Smylski faces charges for breaching ASC orders prohibiting him from trading in Alberta. Only Stevenson is represented by a lawyer.
The ASC alleges $1.2 million was raised between 2009 and 2011 from more than 50 investors through loan agreements with six-month terms, with the promise of returns of up to 150 times the loan amount. The funds were purportedly to be used to obtain the release of a billion-dollar inheritance connected to the late president Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines.
The charges allege the men failed to provide investors — or lenders — sufficient details about the investment offering, or tell them that some of the money for the project would be used to cover their day-to-day living expenses.
Kobylnyk argued throughout the trial, and again Tuesday, that the accused were not dealing in securities, and lenders had simply agreed to loan Stevenson and OCI Corp. money — at huge rates of return — for the “project.” He also suggested the accused were not required to tell lenders how their money would be used, and many of the lenders didn’t care.
Don Young, chief litigation counsel for the Alberta Securities Commission, maintains, however, that the men were illegally trading in securities, and they were required to provide full disclosure about how the investments would be spent. He said many of the lenders did not know Stevenson was using the OCI Corp. account as his personal account, and he particularly didn’t mention that to one lender who provided OCI $400,000.
The trial, which began last spring but was then adjourned several times, finally concluded Tuesday. Derricott and Smylski didn’t call any witnesses, but Derricott briefly offered evidence Tuesday and said he still believes the project is legitimate.
“I really, honestly believe people will be paid and get the money,” he said.
Derricott said he didn’t suspect he had been dealing in securities or needed to follow protocols under the Act, but simply thought he was helping Stevenson raise money to help release the inheritance.
Judge Timothy Hironaka is expected to render his decision April 24.
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