SEC Charges CEO and Oil Exploration Company with Lying About the Company's Prospects and Business Dealings
Litigation Release No. 24209 / July 19, 2018
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Centor Energy Inc. and Frederick DaSilva, Civil Action No. 18-cv-6463 (S.D.N.Y., filed July 17, 2018)
On July 17, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed charges against an oil shale exploration company, Centor Energy, Inc. (ticker: CNTO), and its CEO Frederick DaSilva, for making materially false and misleading statements to Centor shareholders about Centor's oil reserves, revenue prospects, and business dealings. The SEC's complaint, filed in the Southern District of New York, alleges that Centor and DaSilva made numerous false and misleading statements about the amount of oil that Centor could expect to recover from certain land leases, about the relationship to Centor that certain individuals who sold Centor its land leases had, and about a secret agreement by DaSilva to purchase a large amount of Centor shares from prior management. According to the SEC's complaint, Centor's stock price and volume increased substantially from November 2013 through January 2014 following these false and misleading statements. On February 11, 2014, the Commission issued an Order suspending trading in the shares of Centor.
Without admitting or denying the allegations, Centor and DaSilva consented to the entry of a final judgment enjoining them from future violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. DaSilva has also agreed to the imposition of penny stock and officer and director bars and to pay disgorgement of $7,500 plus pre-judgment interest of $1,028 and a civil penalty of $22,500. The settlements with Centor and DaSilva are subject to court approval.
The SEC's investigation was conducted by Jorge G. Tenreiro and Sandeep Satwalekar, and the case was supervised by Lara Shalov Mehraban. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the Alberta Securities Commission, the British Columbia Securities Commission, and the Ontario Securities Commission.