For Immediate Release
September 30, 2022
TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) announced today that John Natividad and Harpreet Saini, both of Brampton, have been charged with fraud and insider trading offences under the Ontario Securities Act.
The OSC alleges that between May 2018 and July 2021, Natividad and Saini accessed material, non-public information through their employer, a newswire distribution network specializing in corporate press releases. Natividad and Saini both worked as system developers, which allowed them access to corporate press release information before it was published.
The pair allegedly engaged in hundreds of trades ahead of corporate announcements. Natividad’s trades resulted in net profits of approximately $280,454 USD, while Saini’s trades resulted in net profits of approximately $674,154 USD. The OSC has frozen funds in Saini’s brokerage account.
“Employees who have access to confidential corporate information have a duty to safeguard that information and not misuse it for their personal benefit,” said Jeff Kehoe, Director of Enforcement at the OSC. “Illegal insider trading erodes investor confidence in our markets, and the OSC will continue to use all its tools to root out this type of misconduct and pursue bad actors.”
Natividad and Saini have been charged with trading in securities with knowledge of a material fact or material change with respect to an issuer that has not been generally disclosed, contrary to s.76(1) of the Securities Act. They have also been charged with engaging in an act, practice or course of conduct related to securities that they knew or reasonably ought to have known perpetrated a fraud on any person or company, contrary to s. 126.1(1) of the Securities Act.
The accused are scheduled to appear in court on this matter on November 21, 2022 at 9:00am in Courtroom #104 at A. Grenville and William Davis Courthouse, 7755 Hurontario Street, Brampton, Ontario.
The OSC appreciates the assistance provided by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which filed a civil complaint today in federal district court in New Jersey that also charges Natividad and Saini with insider trading.
This investigation was conducted by a team within the OSC Enforcement branch that investigates quasi-criminal and criminal offences related to securities, including the investigation of alleged recidivists. Their primary objective is to protect investors and further enhance confidence in the Canadian capital markets through effective enforcement.
To date, OSC Enforcement has pursued 60 quasi-criminal and criminal matters involving 89 accused.
Charges laid under the Securities Act are prosecuted by the OSC. Charges laid under the Criminal Code are prosecuted by the Ministry of the Attorney General.
The mandate of the OSC is to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices, to foster fair, efficient and competitive capital markets and confidence in the capital markets, to foster capital formation, and to contribute to the stability of the financial system and the reduction of systemic risk. Investors are urged to check the registration of any persons or company offering an investment opportunity and to review the OSC investor materials available at http://www.osc.ca.
Source: Ontario Securities Commission