Weighing the fallout of Supreme Court's refusal to hear ASC case

The Supreme Court of Canada has refused to hear an appeal from the Alberta Securities Commission in an insider trading case.

Analysts are divided on what effect denial will have on insider trading cases

The Supreme Court of Canada recently refused to hear an appeal brought by the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) in relation to an insider trading case, according to the Financial Post. The ASC had been appealing an Alberta court's ruling that overturned the ASC's conviction of three individuals for insider trading. Analysts are so far divided about what the fallout from the Supreme Court's refusal will be, noting that the case had been followed closely by regulators across Canada. Some experts have suggested that the refusal could lead to the ASC being more cautious in how it prosecutes insider trading and other business fraud cases.

Appeal denied

The case related to the 2009 sale of an Edmonton-based company to a U.S.-based one. The ASC panel had found five individuals guilty of insider trading and other improper conduct in the run-up to that sale. Provincial law prevents people from trading in securities if they possess material information that other investors do not have.

The five individuals appealed the ruling and an Alberta Court of Appeal overturned the convictions of three of the men and suggested the ASC reconsider its penalties against the other two men. The court argued that the evidence against the men was not of sufficient quality to justify the convictions. While the ASC had tried to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court of Canada, that appeal was recently denied.

Fallout debated

Because the Supreme Court does not give reasons for denying to hear an appeal, there has been much speculation about what this particular refusal could mean for future insider trading cases, according to the Calgary Herald. Some argue that the appeal was likely denied because it did not relate to an interpretation of the law, merely to the quality of evidence, and therefore should not lead to any change in how insider trading cases are prosecuted.

Others, however, expressed disappointment with the Supreme Court's denial. They claim that the denial will make it easier for people convicted of insider trading to successfully appeal their convictions. They claim that the Alberta Court of Appeal's overturning of the original convictions makes it much more difficult for the ASC to pursue charges of insider trading and other cases of fraud. Critics contend that the Alberta court's ruling creates an unrealistically high standard of evidence in order to prosecute insider trading cases. The ASC itself has said that while this particular case has led to some delays in other fraud cases, it will nonetheless continue to pursue those suspected of insider trading.

Fraud cases

In commercial law, fraud is one of the most serious accusations an individual can face. Whether a person suspects they have been the victim of business fraud or are themselves defending against such accusations, it is important to have experienced legal advice on hand. A commercial litigation lawyer can provide individuals with whatever help and guidance they need when dealing with issues surrounding fraud accusations.

Keywords: business fraud,Fallout debated,Fraud cases.