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Securities regulator issues notice of hearing and temporary order against B.C. man alleging illegal distribution

VANCOUVER, Jan. 15, 2013 /CNW/ - The executive director of the British Columbia Securities Commission has issued a temporary order and notice of hearing alleging that a British Columbia man illegally distributed securities and made misrepresentations.

The executive director issues temporary orders in situations where the length of time required to hold a hearing could be prejudicial to the public interest.

The notice alleges that between January 2011 and February 2012, Wong Sang Shen Cho (a.k.a. Craig Cho), doing business as Chosen Media, promoted securities on the Vancouver Craiglist website, claiming that in 40 to 60 days he would provide investors with rates of return from 30% to 50%. Cho told investors that he would deposit their funds into accounts at various sports betting websites. Cho raised a total of $101,846 from six investors, one of whom qualified for an exemption from prospectus requirements. He raised $96,846 from the remaining five investors, to whom he returned $52,892.

The notice also alleges that, in order to make the investment with Chosen Media more appealing, Cho told prospective investors that there were more investors with Chosen Media than there actually were.

BCSC staff contend that Cho breached securities laws by making misrepresentations and illegally distributing securities.

The notice states that in addition to Chosen Media, Cho conducted business under the names Interpower Sports and Groops Media. In February 2002, Cho, doing business as Interpower Sports, sought investors to fund an online gaming website. During an investigation into the possible illegal distribution of Interpower Sports securities, BCSC staff issued Cho a verbal and written caution advising him of his legal obligations if he wished to distribute securities. Cho confirmed he would cease his solicitations.

In July 2012, during the course of its investigation into Chosen Media, BCSC staff again warned Cho that he must comply with prospectus requirements when distributing securities. In December 2012, despite his assurances that he would not continue to solicit investments through Chosen Media, Cho sent an email to an undercover BCSC investigator promoting an investment with Groops Media and guaranteeing a minimum return of 20% within six months.

Neither Cho nor Cho's businesses have ever been registered or filed a prospectus in B.C. Cho was convicted of criminal fraud in 1995.

These allegations have not been proven. A hearing will be held on January 30, 2013 at 9:00am, at which time the executive director will ask the commission to extend the temporary order until a hearing is held and a decision is rendered.

The B.C. Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating trading in securities within the province. You may view the notice of hearing on our website www.bcsc.bc.ca by typing Wong Sang Shen Cho, Craig Cho, Interpower Sports, Chosen Media, Groops Media or 2013 BCSECCOM 05 in the search box.  Information regarding disciplinary proceedings can be found in the Enforcement section of the BCSC website.

Please visit the Canadian Securities Administrators' Disciplined Persons List for information relating to persons disciplined by provincial securities regulators, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association (MFDA).

Learn how to protect yourself and become a more informed investor at www.investright.org

SOURCE British Columbia Securities Commission

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