Regulators details penalties in 2011 cases

Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:11am EST
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Cases brought by Canadian regulators against companies and individuals accused of breaching securities law last year resulted in eight jail sentences, C$52 million in fines and about the same amount in restitution, according to a report issued on Wednesday.

There were also cease-trade orders or orders to freeze the assets against 109 companies and 108 individuals, the Canadian Securities Administrators said in their 2011 Enforcement report.

The CSA said the report highlighted their work to "protect investors and prevent abusive conduct in the marketplace."

Regulators concluded 124 cases last year, about half of which dealt with "illegal distributions," a category that includes Ponzi schemes.

Canada has long faced criticism for tame securities regulation and slow legal proceedings against alleged infractions. One of the best-known cases, involving a mining company called Bre-X, took years to come to trial.

(Reporting By Jennifer Kwan)