British Columbia’s securities regulator alleges misconduct by five companies involved in the province’s mining, tech and cannabis industries, as well as a marketing company that promoted it.
The CEO allegations of the BC Securities Commission have not been proven. They stem from the marketing efforts of Stock Social Inc., which from 2016 to 2018 posted advertising content about businesses on websites and social media, and engaged “influencers” to post. also favorable articles on business.
The BCSC describes the posts as “promotional investment material” and alleges that the companies did not “clearly and conspicuously disclose” that they paid for such promotion. Likewise, the commission alleges that Stock Social failed to disclose that it distributed promotional material on behalf of the companies.
“Some of the infomercials had fine print warnings that the issuers were paying a fee for the broadcast, but the warnings were not clear and visible,” the commission said in a press release.
The BCSC’s allegations of misconduct target the six companies involved, as well as one individual from each company.
These defendants are:
- Kyle Alexander Johnston, of West Vancouver, President, CEO and Sole Director of Stock Social
- Jeremy Arthur William Poirier, of North Vancouver, President, CEO, Officer and Director of Bearing Lithium Corp. (formerly Bearing Resources Ltd.), a mineral exploration and development company
- Ryan James Johnson, of North Vancouver, head of corporate communications for Hello Pal International Inc., a software development company
- Chad David McMillan, of Vancouver, strategic advisor to ImagineAR Inc. (formerly Imagination Park Entertainment Inc.), an augmented reality company
- Jared Michael Lazerson, of Vancouver, President, CEO and Director of MGX Minerals Inc., a mining company
- John-David Alexander Belfontaine, of Pickering, Ont., President, CEO and Director of Phivida Holdings Inc., a CBD food and beverage distributor.
The committee will set a date for hearings into the executive director’s allegations in November.