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British Columbia businessman David Sidoo faces fraud allegations in US SEC filing

Vancouver businessman David Sidoo was allegedly part of a business ring that defrauded investors of millions of dollars, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) court filing .

The complaint, filed in the District Court for the Southern District of New York Thursdaynames Sidoo and seven other defendants as part of a “pump and dump” scheme.

Regulators say the defendants bought shares of various companies, artificially inflated their stock prices, and then sold the assets to unsuspecting investors, earning millions of dollars in the process.

The scheme began in 2006 and continued through 2020, documents show, and regulators say the defendants illegally earned more than US$145 million.

The SEC is seeking strong regulatory action against the eight defendants, including injunctions prohibiting them from continuing to trade.

Sidoo is not facing any criminal charges and the allegations have not been proven in court.

However, four of his co-defendants received charges of wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering in a separate indictment.

It’s another legal setback for Sidoo, a former CFL player who was stripped of his Order of British Columbia and detained after being embroiled in a college admissions scandal in the United States in 2020.

Sidoo, 62, is also a philanthropist, former CEO of mining company Advantage Lithium Corp., and founding shareholder of American Oil & Gas Inc., which was sold in 2010 for more than $600 million.

According to the complaint, the “global” scheme to defraud investors involved four of Sidoo’s co-defendants, along with six other people who have been criminally charged in a separate FBI investigation.

“These pernicious ‘pump and dump’ schemes enriched the defendants while causing real harm to ordinary retail investors who had to swallow the losses,” U.S. federal attorney Damian Williams said in a statement announcing the criminal charges against the accused. FBI.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

David Sidoo in a 2011 interview with CBC News. He was stripped of his Order of British Columbia following his involvement in the 2020 college admissions scandal. (Radio Canada)

17 companies would have been “emptied”

The main defendant in the SEC complaint is Ronald Bauer, a dual Canadian-British citizen who investigators say currently lives in the UK.

Bauer allegedly oversaw numerous acts of fraud using the “pump and dump” method, according to the complaint. Investigators say he and his co-defendants used a total of 17 companies in the scheme.

Regulators say the eight men bought majority stakes in companies using offshore companies to conceal their involvement.

They then allegedly used media campaigns to convince other investors to buy the shares of their companies without disclosing their ownership.

Investors did this by creating “shell companies” – shell companies owned by them – and allocating their shares among these companies. For other investors, it appeared that no one company owned all the shares, although that was the case.

Sidoo was allegedly involved in orchestrating the scheme using two companies, North American Oil & Gas Corp. and American Helium Inc.

According to the complaint, Sidoo and other investors allegedly earned more than US$16 million by defrauding investors using the companies.

Although Sidoo has not been criminally charged, four of his co-defendants, including Bauer, face up to 20 years in prison for each of the crimes they are charged with.

The FBI says many authorities around the world were involved in the investigation, including the RCMP, the Alberta Securities Commission and the Toronto Police Service.

British Columbia businessman David Sidoo faces fraud allegations in US SEC filing
The David Sidoo pitch on UBC’s Vancouver campus has been renamed, at Sidoo’s request, following his involvement in the 2020 college admissions scandal. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Sidoo played professional football for six years for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and BC Lions.

He was sentenced to three months in prison in 2020 after being found have paid US$200,000 ask a professional test writer to impersonate his two sons and write their SATs.

This conviction led to him losing his Order of British Columbia – which had been awarded for his philanthropy – and the University of British Columbia renamed a football field that originally bore his name.