78-year-old man fined $20,000 for illegally selling shares in his company
A man watches the financial numbers at the TMX Group in Toronto's financial district, May 9, 2014. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press)
Most Canadians in their 70s are enjoying retirement, not starting technology companies.
And yet, that's the situation described in a recent settlement between John Cockburn, 78, and the British Columbia Securities Commission.
According to the settlement, Cockburn was the sole officer and director of Smart Trak Technologies Inc. between August 2013 and March 2016. During that period, the company sold shares to 83 investors, raising roughly $866,000 in the process.
Those sales turned out to be illegal, because the company didn't provide a prospectus -- a legal document that explains the details of an investment and the risks involved -- to the investors.
In 2017, the BCSC issued a "cease trade order" against Smart Trak for failing to file reports of the stock sales.
As part of the settlement, which was reached Wednesday, Cockburn agreed to pay $20,000 to the BCSC. He is also prohibited from trading or purchasing securities or exchange contracts, except through his personal RRIF and TFSA accounts, and faces several other prohibitions related to the sale or promotion of securities as well.
Cockburn has "no history of regulatory misconduct," according to the BCSC.
Smart Trak Technologies describes itself on its website as "a worldwide leader in loss prevention." At the time of the illegal stock sales, the BCSC said in a release, Smart Trak was "involved in developing a security device that tracked cargo using GPS."
The company lists a "corporate headquarters" in Atlanta, Georgia, and offices in Richmond, B.C. and Iztapalapa, a borough of Mexico City.
John Cockburn is no longer listed on the company's "Executive Management Team" page.