Abbotsford man pleads guilty to five B.C. Securities Act offences

Gregory Carrington attempted to seek investment in a mining operation after previously being banned from trading for 20 years.

Gregory Carrington is seen here in 2008

Gregory Carrington is seen here in 2008

An Abbotsford man has pleaded guilty to five of the 14 charges he was facing under the B.C. Securities Act for offences in Abbotsford, Vancouver and White Rock in 2011.

Gregory Clark Carrington, 67, was sentenced to a 90-day jail term on Tuesday in Abbotsford provincial court for unlawfully acting as an adviser, distributing securities without a prospectus filed, listing and posting securities for trading, misrepresentation, and contravention of the Securities Act.

The other nine charges were all stayed.

Carrington’s trial had been slated to begin on Tuesday, but he instead entered the guilty pleas.

He is the former CEO and president of the WebNet series of companies which operated in Abbotsford and laid off more than 100 employees in July 2008.

He was arrested at his home in Abbotsford in June 2012 by the B.C. Securities Commission’s (BCSC) criminal investigation team.

Carrington had sought involvement in a mining operation – called Golden Trunk Mines – after he had been banned by the BCSC from trading securities for 20 years.

That ban was issued in February 2011 and related to Carrington’s involvement in WebNet Converged Wireless Networks Ltd., WebNet Broadcasting Corporation, WebNet Global Capital Partners Ltd. and 3dh Capital Ltd.

BCSC found that the companies contravened securities laws when they distributed sloppy documents to investors.

Among the deficiencies noted by the BCSC at the time were that some of the documents had inaccurate or missing financial statements, did not properly disclose short- and long-term objectives and did not “adequately disclose material agreements.”

The BCSC stated that WebNet raised about $8.74 million from 916 investors in B.C., several other provinces and the U.S.

In July 2008, WebNet laid off more than 100 employees in Abbotsford without notice and suspended its broadband wireless network, high-speed Internet and Internet phone services and shut down its Abbotsford retail store.

In addition to the 20-year ban on trading securities, Carrington was prohibited from acting as a director or officer of any issuer, acting as a manager or consultant in the securities market, and from engaging in investor relations.

Shortly after the ban was issued, Carrington began approaching former WebNet investors, requesting their involvement in  four gold and silver mines in southeast Oregon.

The individuals were invited to turn over their WebNet shares, with the cash value exchanged for an equal number of shares in the mining operation.

In documents sent to the investors, and previously obtained by the Abbotsford News, Carrington claimed each share was expected to list on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange for between one and 1.3 euros, meaning 10,000 shares would be the equivalent of 13,000 euros, or about $18,590 US at the time.

Once the shares reached double the value of their WebNet investment, the individuals would be asked to turn over the trust of their WebNet shares, and “any obligations by (Carrington) to recover your investment will be extinguished.”

There is no indication that the Golden Trunk Mines venture ever progressed.