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Two top executives of Canada's Black Tusk gold mining fined for undisclosed trading

A screenshot of a promotional video for Black Tusk Resources that features company president and CEO Richard Penn. (YouTube) A screenshot of a promotional video for Black Tusk Resources that features company president and CEO Richard Penn. (YouTube)
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Two top executives of a Canadian gold mining company have been fined for undisclosed insider trading spanning a three-year period.

In a settlement with the B.C. Securities Commission, Black Tusk Resources CEO Richard Ryan Penn and former CFO and secretary Roman Reuven Rubin, admitted to failing to report the vast majority of their trades relating to the company.

Black Tusk Resources is a mining company with offices in both Vancouver and Montreal. It owns six gold and palladium projects in Canada, and while the majority are located in Quebec, one is located in B.C. 145 kilometres south of Smithers.

“As insiders of the company, Penn and Rubin were required to report their trades in its securities on the publicly accessible System for Electronic Disclosure by Insiders,” reads a Jan. 6 notice from the securities commission.

But, they didn’t. Between January 2018 and December 2021, Penn failed to report 87 per cent of the transactions he was supposed to, involving shares valued at $1,155,947. During the same time period, Rubin failed to report 96 per cent of the transactions he was supposed to, involving shares valued at $646,566.

Penn and Rubin also failed to file early warning reports and issue news releases when their holdings of Black Tusk’s common shares decreased, and they falsely stated the amount of company shares they each held.

“By doing so, the company made a false or misleading statement in a required filing,” reads the B.C. Securities Commission statement.

“As directors, Penn and Rubin are liable for this misconduct.”

Penn, a Surrey resident, was ordered to pay $75,000 to commission as part of the settlement, and will be required to complete a course on “the duties and responsibilities of directors and officers of public companies, within six months.”

Rubin, a Burnaby resident, was ordered to pay $65,000 and must take a course covering the same topics.

The settlement agreements state that both men cooperated with the investigation and have since made the required filings they had missed and paid the late fees. Furthermore the commission says “they also directed Black Tusk to publish news releases correcting the disclosure of their shareholdings.” 

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