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David Sidoo accused of securities fraud in U.S.

Vancouver stock promoter charged as part of an alleged multimillion-dollar pump-and-dump stock scheme
Vancouver stock promoter David Sidoo is accused by U.S. authorities of taking part in a US$145 million securities scheme | BIV files

Vancouver stock promoter David Sidoo is charged in a US$145 million securities fraud scheme with seven others.

In an April 14 filing in the Southern District of New York, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleges the defendants ran pump-and-dump schemes between 2006 and 2020 using various front companies and offshore accounts to hide their transactions. The SEC has charged them with fraud in the offer or sale of securities, fraud in connection with the purchase or sale of securities and unregistered offerings of securities.

Sidoo is accused of collaborating with three other Canadians: Ronald Bauer, a.k.a. Ronald Jacob Bauer, 47, Craig James Auringer, 51, and Adam Christopher Kambeitz, 47. SEC believes Bauer and Auringer to be in the U.K., and Kambeitz is believed to be in the Cayman Islands.

None of the allegations has been tested in court.

“David Sidoo denies the allegations contained in yesterday's SEC filing in New York,” said his Boston-based lawyer Martin Weinberg. “He will not have further comment about these proceedings.”

In what the filing described as the “Sidoo and Bauer Ring,” Sidoo is alleged to have co-ordinated the fraudulent promotions and transactions of North American Oil and Gas stock from July 2013 to August 2014 and American Helium between March 2018 to February 2020. The latter allegation against Sidoo coincides with the period in which he was facing charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud for paying six-figure sums to have someone else write his sons’ university entrance exams. In March 2020, he pleaded guilty and spent three months in jail in fall 2020.

The SEC filing said Sidoo collaborated with Bauer, Arranger and Kambeitz in a fraudulent penny stock dump involving North American Oil, which originated as a shell company named Calendar Dragon Inc. that Sidoo acquired for $350,000 on April 3, 2012 via a wire payment from a Swiss banking platform to a California law firm’s trust account.

“Despite being beneficial owners of well over 10% – indeed 100% – of North American Oil’s securities, defendants Sidoo, Bauer and Auringer never made any 13D or Form 4 filing with the Commission,” the court document said. “These defendants’ failure to disclose accurate – indeed, any – information about their beneficial ownership of, trading in, or agreements concerning, North American Oil’s securities, in the face of duties to do so, defrauded investors by depriving them of this highly material information to which they were, by law, entitled.”

The court document also said Sidoo co-ordinated the promotional campaign for American Helium between March 2018 and July 2018.

SEC alleges proceeds from the North American Oil and Gas pump and dump were $15.23 million and $1.45 million for American Helium.

“Like others, Sidoo used offshore omnibus vehicles and front companies to conceal the fact that he was the beneficiary of stock sales, and failed both to disclose his beneficial ownership and trading and to register his stock sales as legally required.”

The SEC wants to permanently ban the defendants from acting as an officer or director or trading or promoting any penny stock, and to surrender all ill-gotten gains from the schemes.