Wednesday, September 29, 2010

OSC Penalizes Norshield Executives - Hardly

You have just dropped off your children to a well established boarding school which is sanctioned and approved by the government. They have an established record over many years. You receive report cards and regular updates. Your children are doing well and getting above average marks. Near the end of the term, you read in the newspaper that the boarding school no longer knows where the children are.
Not yours. 
Not anyone else's. 
Almost every child has disappeared.

You are grief stricken. There has been a government inquiry. It turns out that the three people who ran the school lied. They were not teaching the children at all. They were not taking care of them. They were not protecting them from harm. The school has no idea where the children are or where the children were. The government concludes that the three leaders knowingly misled every single parent and jeopardized the safety of the children.
The three leaders of the school violated the trust of the parents.
The three leaders of the school destroyed the future of every parent. All the years of love and sacrifice each parent gave for their child was lost.

The three who ran the school (and knowingly cheated the children, the parents, and the government) were found to be guilty. 
They will not be jailed. 
They will not have a criminal record. 
They were fined significantly - over a million dollars for the two leaders. 
They don't have to pay though.
They will not be allowed to run another school.

1900 families.
1900 family futures.

This is not a real story.

Here is a summary of the real story. The OSC found the three leaders of Norshield to have misled the public and two of them "knew that the net asset values (“NAVs”) for funds in the Norshield Investment Structure were artificially inflated" (pg. 17, Section [78] (a)). John Xanthoudakis and Dale Smith were asked to pay over $1 million in fines. After all, they lost almost $500 million for almost 2000 individual investors and countless others affected by the corporations (pension funds, cities, companies) that invested over $300 million of the $500 million lost. Below is some coverage from the Canadian Press.

The original Ontario Securities Commission documents:

The sanctions that were imposed on the guilty three. 
HTML version    PDF version

The detailed accusations, reasons and decisions.
HTML version    PDF version