Richmond businessman fined $20,000 and banned for four years

A Richmond businessman is having to pay $20,000 to the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) for stock market misconduct.

John Cockburn, 78, was also banned for four years from trading in the markets or securities and engaging in any investor relations.

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The BCSC reported Thursday that it had reached a settlement agreement with Cockburn, who admitted to illegally selling shares of his company, Smart Trak Technologies Inc.

Cockburn, according to the BCSC, was the sole officer and director of the company, which was involved in developing a security device that tracked shipping containers and its cargo using GPS.

He sold shares to 83 investors, raising $866,000, without a prospectus (a formal document that explains the details of an investment and the risks involved).

The BCSC issued a cease trade order against Smart Trak in 2017 for failing to file reports of the stock sales to the BCSC.

As part of the settlement, Cockburn agreed to pay $20,000 to the BCSC and was banned for four years from:

•        trading in or purchasing securities or exchange contracts (with some limited exceptions);

•        being a director or officer of any issuer or registrant;

•        being or acting as a registrant or promoter;

•        acting in a management or consultative capacity in connection with the securities market; and

•        engaging in investor relations activities.

The BCSC said Cockburn doesn’t have any history of securities misconduct.

However, he was the focus of a 2012 Vancouver Sun story by investigative reporter David Baines.

In the article, it was reported that Cockburn, “president and CEO of Bulldog Technologies Inc., was earning $209,606 per year (and) had a $1-million home on the dike in the affluent Terra Nova area of Richmond. He had a Jaguar and a 2004 Bentley Continental (retail value $230,000) with the vanity plates BLDOG1 and BLDOG2. And he had won a “business excellence” award from the Richmond Chamber of Commerce.”

The Sun reported that the company was selling a product similar to what Smart Trak was selling only a few years ago.

“From its inception in 1998 to May 2006, the company generated only $448,000 in revenues while racking up $10.2 million in losses. In August 2006, Cockburn resigned to ‘pursue personal interests.’”

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