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The face of the Invermere Deer Protection Society (IDPS) lawsuit against the District of Invermere (DOI) and his wife Monie Rahman have been found guilty of insider trading by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC).
Shane Suman, who is named as one of the principals in the IDPS lawsuit filed against the DOI in February earlier this year, has been ordered by an OSC panel to surrender his illegal profits to the tune of $954,938.07and pay an administrative penalty of $250,000, and is permanently prohibited from acquiring or trading securities.
Additionally, both Suman and Rahman are jointly responsible for $250,000 worth
of costs awarded against them.
“I think it’s relevant,” DOI mayor Gerry Taft told The Valley Echo on Wednesday (September 26). “He’s the actual person named on the lawsuit so in a legal sense he is actually the one suing the district… so also in a
technical sense, if [the DOI] were to be awarded costs, if we were successful in getting the lawsuit defeated , we would have to try and get costs from him.
“There’s a few other people trying to get money from him.”
The panel found that Suman, who was a senior information technology professional at an Ontario reporting issuer (a company that issues documents proving ownership of investments), had tipped off his wife Rahman about his employer’s proposed acquisition of a US-listed issuer. The couple then traded the American company’s securities with knowledge of the proposed acquisition and illegally reaped almost $1 million in illegal profits.
According to the OSC website, a judgment against the couple with respect to the same trading has already been obtained by the U.S. Securities and Exchange, ordering Suman and Rahman to not only surrender their illegal profits but pay civil penalties of $2 million and $1 million, respectively.
“Of course I’m concerned it might discredit this case but it’s really two separate matters,” IDPS president Devin Kazakoff said. “To me, it’s something completely separate from what we’re dealing with the deer.”
He said the intention of the lawsuit is to negate the resolution the district passed in August of 2011 that states they want to reduce the deer population in Invermere to 50 by 2014.
“The lawsuit is based on the fact that the DOI didn’t do the proper research before deciding on a cull and they also didn’t consult the public adequately,” Kazakoff said. “It’s not really anything to do with money.”
“We’re asking for the district to do the proper research by hiring the proper wildlife biologist; it would take years of research and study to figure out migratory paths of deer and wildlife and all the implications of
the decision they make so they only have now two deer counts and they’re not even properly done deer counts, so to go ahead and start killing animals without researching the ramifications of it first, the lawsuit is challenging that,” he said.
Rebeka Breders, the lawyer for the IDPS, said she completely concurs with Kazakoff’s view.
“The concern for recouping costs is always a concern for both parties regardless of any other extraneous factors so whether Shane has a judgement against him or doesn’t, doesn’t change the fact that that concern is always there in litigation. It’s just the nature of our litigation system,” she said. “I guess I can appreciate that the district is raising that in that sense but I think that’s just a facade for what they’re really trying to do, to deflect the issues and to kind of shed some potentially bad light on a group of individuals that are really intending to do only good for the community (and)hopefully change the district conducts its animal control affairs.”
Taft said he thinks the OSC judgment is just part of the information Invermere residents should have when viewing the information coming from both Suman and Rahman regarding the deer issue.
“I think it’s definitely something people should be aware of,” he said.
Suman and Rahman could not be reached for comment via their Calgary number.