OSC extradites Bernard Justin Sevilla to face criminal fraud charges
For Immediate Release OSC Before the Court
TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) today announced the arrest and extradition of Bernard Justin Sevilla, a resident of the United Kingdom (U.K.), who was charged with two offences under the Criminal Code of Canada. Mr. Sevilla was also operating under the names James Davies and Martin Schwartz.
Mr. Sevilla was charged with one count of fraud over $5,000 contrary to Section 380(1)(a), and one count of possession of property obtained by crime contrary to Section 354(1)(a).
The OSC alleges that Mr. Sevilla, while residing in the U.K., orchestrated a complex international fraud targeting Ontario investors. Mr. Sevilla purchased airtime on AM radio stations in Ontario to solicit investments in a foreign exchange scheme called Trans-Atlantic Direct (TAD). Mr. Sevilla then encouraged interested investors to register an account on TAD’s website and send their investment funds to offshore bank accounts for foreign currency trading. Approximately 100 Ontario investors directed almost $5.2 million CAD to TAD. The OSC contends that Mr. Sevilla and his associates used these investor funds for their own personal use.
“Our investigators navigated through numerous challenges caused by the global pandemic, working diligently to track down and return this offender to Canada to face trial, drawing on our extensive network of international law enforcement agencies for assistance with the extradition,” said Jeff Kehoe, Director of Enforcement at the OSC.
A Canadian warrant for Mr. Sevilla’s arrest was issued on December 3, 2019 and he was arrested in the U.K. on October 15, 2020 and remanded into custody. On August 16, 2021, Mr. Sevilla waived his extradition hearing and has now been remanded to an Ontario prison to await trial.
The OSC would like to thank the West Yorkshire Police, particularly DC Dan Crumbley, Crown Law Criminal, the International Assistance Group, the U.K. National Extradition Unit, ICCC and the Toronto Police Service Fugitive Squad for their significant assistance in extraditing Mr. Sevilla to Canada.
This investigation was conducted by a team within the OSC Enforcement branch that investigates quasi-criminal and criminal offences related to securities, including the investigation of alleged recidivists. Their primary objective is to protect investors and further enhance confidence in the Canadian capital markets through effective enforcement. To date, this team has pursued 54 quasi-criminal and criminal matters involving 78 accused.
Charges laid under the Securities Act (quasi-criminal) are prosecuted by the OSC. Charges laid under the Criminal Code are prosecuted by the Ministry of the Attorney General.
The mandate of the OSC is to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices, to foster fair, efficient and competitive capital markets and confidence in the capital markets, to foster capital formation, and to contribute to the stability of the financial system and the reduction of systemic risk. Investors are urged to check the registration of any persons or company offering an investment opportunity and to review the OSC investor materials available at http://www.osc.ca.
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