An Abbotsford man who was charged this week with 10 offences under the B.C. Securities Act was allegedly seeking involvement in a mining operation after he had been banned from trading securities for 20 years.
Gregory Clark Carrington, 66, was arrested without incident at his home in Abbotsford on Monday by the B.C. Securities Commission’s (BCSC) criminal investigations team.
BCSC spokesman Richard Gilhooley said the charges relate to selling securities without being registered, making misrepresentations, breaching an existing trading ban, and selling securities without a prospectus.
The offences date back to March and April 2011, and occurred in Abbotsford, Vancouver and White Rock, according to the online provincial court database.
Carrington had received the 20-year ban by the BSCS in February 2011 for his involvement in a now-defunct wireless operation that was based in Abbotsford.
He was the CEO and president of WebNet Converged Wireless Networks Ltd., WebNet Broadcasting Corporation, WebNet Global Capital Partners Ldt. 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 BSCS at that 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 BSCS 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 service.
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.
Gilhooley said he could not comment on the specifics related to the latest series of charges.
However, about five months after the ban last year, the Abbotsford News was contacted by two former WebNet investors who said they had received correspondence from Carrington, requesting their involvement in a company called Golden Trunk Mines.
The documents stated that the company would provide the capital to put into production four gold and silver mines in southeast Oregon.
The documents say that Carrington was a “temporary trustee” of the Buena Suerte Family Trust, which was to receive a “disbursement” of free trading shares of Golden Trunk Mines.
The documents invited the individuals to turn over their WebNet shares, with the cash value exchanged for an equal number of shares in the mining operation.
In order to receive the shares, they would be required to pay a “transfer fee.” In the case of one individual, the fee totalled five per cent of his shares, divided into two payments.
Each share was expected to list on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange for between one and 1.3 euros, according to the paperwork. At the time, this meant that 10,000 shares would be the equivalent of 13,000 euros, or about $18,590 U.S.
Once the “gifted” 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 Dr. Gregory Carrington to recover your investment will be extinguished.”
The documents listed an address and account number for a bank in Las Vegas for the transfer fees to be wired to.
There is no indication on the Golden Trunk Mines website that the venture ever progressed. The last apparent update on the website was in May 2011, indicating that updates on the progress, acquisitions and production schedules would be posted as they occur.