Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sino-Forest fraud hearing begins

The Ontario Securities Commission will lay out its fraud case against collapsed forestry giant Sino-Forest Corp. and some of the company’s former key executives on Tuesday, as a hearing begins on the largest corporate fraud allegations to hit Bay Street since the Bre-X gold scandal.
The high-profile proceedings are a key test for the province’s financial markets regulator, as it takes on a murky and massively complex case that involves millions of documents and a tangled web of entities in China, where Sino-Forest claimed to control $3-billion worth of timber assets.
In May of 2012, the OSC alleged the company and some of its former executives were involved in a “complex fraudulent scheme to inflate the assets and revenue of Sino-Forest,” made “materially misleading statements” and “falsified the evidence of ownership for the vast majority of its timber holdings by engaging in a deceitful documentation process.”
The scheme allegedly involved transactions between companies that Sino-Forest secretly controlled.


"The Ontario Securities Commission is formally accusing troubled Chinese timberland company Sino-Forest Corp. and several former executives of lying to investors and attempting to mislead investigators.

The regulator filed the fraud allegations on Tuesday against the company and its founder and former chief executive Allen Chan, as well as against Albert Ip, Alfred Hung, George Ho and Simon Yeung."

Some are saying this here TRE-X is missing 90% of whatever the hell it was supposed to have exactly and do the accused have two cents to rub together for a lawyer?

Rest easy there citizen ...

"Sino-Forest Corp. (TRE) insiders, including former Chief Executive Officer Allen Chan, sold C$81 million ($83 million) of shares since the end of 2006, regulatory filings show.

Chan, who stepped down Aug. 28 after the Ontario Securities Commission suspended trading in Sino-Forest, sold C$3 million of stock, the filings show. Kai Kit Poon, with whom Chan founded the tree-plantation company in 1992, sold more than C$30.1 million. Chief Financial Officer David Horsley sold C$11.2 million of shares. Simon Murray, a director and also chairman of Glencore International Plc, sold $10.8 million."

Lassoed some real big whale types with this here freakin dopey yarn and the take would make most of our Venture type criminals look like common garden pooh tossers.

So whoop dee doo. Even the bazillionaires get shorn like the rest of us now and then.

So everybody has a favourite so called "analyst", and we have loved to hate Mr. Richard Kelertas for his long running verbal stupidity from Dundee during the Tre-X scamola. Its one thing to be a paid apologist for a wicked large scam and quite another to dismiss the allegations as "complete krap" the instant they appear.

So it's Allana Potash - AAA.t where our guy lands eh? Pffft. Of course we humans are far from perfect but DAMN. This kind of wicked large dopey brain cramp is almost too much to stomach.

Before that order came down Mr. Kelertas had this to offer ...

“We are going to provide you with some information on why Muddy Waters research is a pile of crap,” said Richard Kelertas, an analyst at Dundee Capital Markets, during a conference call he held with clients on Tuesday afternoon. “We believe there’s nothing true in that report.”

"The Ontario Securities Commission has accused Ernst & Young LLP of failing to conduct a proper audit of failed forestry firm Sino-Forest Corp. In a rare move, the commission has levelled allegations against a firm’s auditors, saying Ernst & Young did not perform to “relevant industry standards” during their time as auditors between 2007 and 2012."

"The OSC issued fraud allegations against Sino-Forest and former senior executives in May. The case has not yet gone to a hearing."

This blogger identified the obvious problem early on ...

"First on the public interest radar should be the all too cozy relationship between the auditor signing off on the apparently bogus financials that everybody is relying on and a bloated BoD with more alumni from Ernst and Young LLP than keys to the executive washroom.

Thomas M. MaradinVice-President, Finance (Corporate)
Joined Sino-Forest in 2005; previously worked five years for several multi-national corporations in financial reporting and internal control, regulatory compliance and system upgrading; previously worked fifteen years for Ernst & Young LLP, providing professional services in audit, taxation, risk management, strategic and business planning.
James (Jamie) M.E. Hyde, CA, C.Dir

Director since 2004; previously Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer, GSW Inc., Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Resolve Business Outsourcing Income Fund, Former Partner, Ernst & Young LLP, where he provided for 24 years a board range of professional services to public and private companies.
Garry J. West
Joined the Board in February 2011; former Partner at Ernst & Young; With 35 years of extensive financial experience including auditing, corporate restructuring, public financings and strategic planning initiatives for a number of major organizations; Director and Chair of the Audit Committee for two other TSX-listed companies; Fellow of the Ontario Institute Chartered Accountants.

Elevated heavy metals after Mine Tailings Spill

WILLIAMS LAKE, B.C. - Elevated levels of seven chemical elements have been found by B.C. government staff in the sediment near a mine tailings spill.

The Ministry of Environment says copper, iron, manganese, arsenic, silver, selenium and vanadium were found in concentrations that exceeded provincial standards during testing near the Mount Polley mine Aug. 12 and Aug. 15.
B.C. officials say sediment discharged from a tailings pond that spilled mining waste in the Cariboo region is not toxic for humans but may harm aquatic life.
The province says the sediments exceed guidelines and contaminated sites regulation standards for copper and iron.

Environment Minister Mary Polak says the area is considered contaminated under provincial regulations and the company responsible for the spill must submit a plan detailing how it will address the situation.
The chiefs in two First Nations communities in the area have said their residents don't trust the government's claims that the fish are safe, so they've opted not to harvest salmon in what would normally be the busiest time of the year.

Read more:

Thursday, August 28, 2014

CEO hit where it hurts for Doggy abuse

The CEO of a prominent catering company has been ordered to donate $100,000 and complete 1,000 hours of community service, or risk losing his job, after he was caught on camera abusing a puppy in a Vancouver condo building.

Des Hague, CEO of Centerplate, was captured on video repeatedly kicking a Doberman pinscher puppy and using a leash to jerk it around inside a downtown Vancouver elevator. The video surfaced earlier this month and prompted the U.S.-based food and beverage corporation as well as the SPCA to launch investigations.
On Wednesday, Centerplate said Hague's behaviour was "unacceptable" and noted that he has been placed on an indefinite probation.

"Any further acts of misconduct would result in immediate termination," the company said in a statement. "The company finds Mr. Hague’s personal behaviour unacceptable and outside the bounds of our high standards and expectations of all of our staff," the statement read. "We do not condone nor can we overlook the mistreatment of animals and Mr. Hague's personal misconduct."

Centerplate says the Sade foundation will be set up with Hague's money "to help support the protection and safety of animals in the city of Vancouver where the incident occurred."

Lesson to be learned? Next time one wants to heap abuse on something best leave doggies alone. Far safer to abuse a homeless person on the street and the levels of outraged public stupidity would be negligible and the savings instant. Rather than having a whooping $ 100k going to the dogs as it were, how about this organization donate food for humans in need instead?

Geezus Louiseus. Sheeple get bent completely stupid over a near worthless K9 whilst they would never think of donating their spare change to a starving panhandler in their lifetime.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Lawyer charged after $12M vanishes

Meerai Cho
A Toronto real estate lawyer has been charged with 75 offenses after a condo development went bust — and more than $12-million in deposits disappeared from a trust account. Meerai Cho, 63, was handling investors’ money for a proposed 14-storey hotel and 30-storey residential tower, with some commercial space, in North York.

The condo project fell through, but deposits to more than 140 people were not returned and the trust account is now empty, police say. Ms. Cho has filed for bankruptcy.

Ms. Cho is charged with 25 counts of fraud over $5,000, 25 counts of possession of property obtained by crime and 25 counts of breach of trust. Police expect to lay more charges as alleged victims come forward.

In a listing still available online, the condo building, Centrium is marketed as a development project by Centrust Development.
In advance of construction, Ms. Cho allegedly began holding money in trust for developer, Yo Sup (Joseph) Lee. He wrote to investors in January telling them the project was not going ahead, but that they’d get their money back. When months passed and the investments were not returned, police started to get complaints. It’s not known where Mr. Lee is.

Buyers fear he is no longer in the country.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

B.C. Hydro says "smart meters" 1000% peachy

B.C. Hydro insists its spiffy new smart meters have not caused any fires, even though the technology has been blamed for blazes in other jurisdictions. That includes Saskatchewan, where the government just decided to get rid of smart meters after a series of electrical fires there.
Luc De Beir begs to differ. He blames a smart meter for a February 2013 fire at his summer home near Prince George.

An electrical utility pole had caught fire near its base. It smouldered, burned through the pole and fell over. De Beir said B.C. Hydro had earlier installed a new smart meter on the utility pole. The fire appeared to have started in the precise spot where the smart meter had been installed. He filed a $4,500 damage claim to B.C. Hydro, but Hydro rejected it. Why? Hydro sent De Beir a letter that suggested a pre-existing “meter base” on the pole was the problem, not the smart meter that was plugged into it.
“We sent a crew to investigate and I can confirm a smart meter was never installed on that pole,” Hydro spokesman Greg Alexis told me. He said Hydro installed a smart meter at a completely different location. “We installed a smart meter on the side of a shed, not a pole,” Alexis said, suggesting it must have been the old analog meter that burned that fateful day.

De Beir was stunned by that. “That’s not true,” he said. “They put a smart meter on that pole and I can show you a picture to prove it.” “There was a smart meter installed on the pole,” said Alexis, who blamed an address mix-up for the error. “But there is still no evidence that it caused the fire.” One final twist: No one knows what happened to the burned smart meter. De Beir says a Hydro work crew took it away. But Alexis said there is no record that happened or that Hydro has the burned meter in its possession."
The corporation relies on its subsidiary Corix Utilities to train installers. Most installers are semi-skilled workers, who receive two weeks of training in the classroom and the field. The union’s Flynn maintains the Crown corporation is risking not only homes, but installers’ safety, by not hiring certified electricians to do the job. A certified electrician, he said, would check everything from corrosion on the base to voltages at different test points.
Smart meter installations are the suspected cause of an “unusual” number of fires similar to the electrical fire that destroyed the Mission home of Trish Regan, according to a recent investigation by the Ontario fire marshal’s office.

After at least two fires broke out in B.C. homes following the installation of smart meters, homeowners have been told it’s their responsibility to ensure the electrical wiring and base to support the meter is not faulty. However, people can’t just call in an electrician to check the safety of the meter. Gary Murphy, chief product officer for BC Hydro’s smart meter program, said only BC Hydro staff are allowed to unlock a smart meter.
Hydro’s Greg Alexis says as far as fire risk homeowners are safer with the new smart meters. “There is no evidence that a smart meter has ever been the cause of a fire in British Columbia."

Geezus. How, pray tell, can a body believe a single utterance from this insulting paid turd monger?

Friday, August 22, 2014

High-priced legal counsel tackles festering B.C. teachers

Peter Fassbender
"Education Minister Peter Fassbender is disobeying the media blackout, says the B.C. Teachers’ Federation. Fassbender has been talking to media outlets this week about aspects of the ongoing teachers’ strike.

“It is unhelpful that the minister is again playing politics in the media instead of allowing bargaining to resume behind closed doors,” union president Jim Iker said Thursday in a statement. “It shows a lack of integrity and highlights the government’s ongoing attempts to derail meaningful negotiations.
February 27, 2014

Howard Shapray
Toward the end of question period in the legislature earlier this week, Opposition education critic Rob Fleming took note of a change in the government legal team in the long running court battle with the B.C. Teachers' Federation.

The Liberals claimed it wasn't costing all that much money to pursue the case because they were relying on staff lawyers from the ministry of the attorney general who would be paid anyway.
After losing twice in front of the same judge in B.C. Supreme Court, the Liberals retained outside legal help for what was expected to be a tough fight to turn things around at the Court of Appeal.

The new member of the government legal team is Vancouver lawyer Howard Shapray.
The new legal lineup marked its first success Wednesday, when the Court of Appeal ruled in the government's favour on two preliminary matters regarding the next phase of the case.

The Liberals had asked the court to stay implementation of B.C. Supreme Court Justice Susan Griffin's decision, rolling back provisions in the teachers contract to where they stood a dozen years ago.

Personal uptake? Using VERY copious taxpayer dough when the provincial Liberal government has and continues to demonstrate absolutely zero good faith bargaining with the BCTF is an offense.