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by Mike Caswell
Rajesh Taneja, one of three Canadians charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a $42-million scheme to help insiders illegally sell shares on the U.S. markets, has agreed to a permanent penny stock ban and has agreed to hand over the $837,734 that he realized from the scheme, plus $109,438 in interest. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) The SEC claimed that Mr. Taneja was part of a group led by Vancouver's Steve Bajic that sold shares through an offshore network. The men provided what the SEC called a "layer of disguise" for those looking to unload shares.
The sanctions for Mr. Taneja are contained in a proposed judgment filed on Thursday, Nov. 19, in federal court in New York. They come as part of a negotiated settlement, in which Mr. Taneja has not admitted to any wrongdoing. In addition to the $947,172 that he has agreed to pay, the judge will impose an appropriate fine, still to be determined.
While Mr. Taneja's penalties are relatively small compared with the size of the scheme, the SEC is likely to collect at least some money from him. As part of the settlement, Mr. Taneja has agreed to hand over the contents of accounts at the Bank of Montreal, Toronto-Dominion Bank and Barclays Bank Switzerland, as well as the contents of brokerage accounts in Singapore. The proposed judgment does not set out exactly how much money is in those accounts, or what the value of any shares they contain may be.
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