Goldcorp chair Ian Telfer’s name in an OSC insider trading probe is a high-profile symbol – by David Olive (Toronto Star – February 9, 2012)

The Toronto Star, has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on federal and Ontario politics as well as shaping public opinion.

Chances are you have not heard of Eda Marie Agueci. Until she was suspended by her employer a few days ago, Agueci was a drone in a second-tier Toronto investment firm. She is alleged by the Ontario Securities Commission with being at or near the centre of a ring of friends and relatives engaged in improper insider trading practices at least from 2007.

By contrast, you might well know of Ian W. Telfer, 65, chairman of Vancouver-based Goldcorp Inc., one of the world’s largest gold-mining enterprises.

Telfer is a highly regarded figure, and rightly so. He built Goldcorp into an enterprise with $3.8 billion in 2010 and profits of $1.6 billion, with resource-development projects on four continents. Goldcorp has created a multitude of jobs worldwide, and kept Vancouver on the map as a centre of mining expertise when much of that activity has migrated to Calgary and Toronto.

Along with his 40 or so years of mining expertise, Telfer is a philanthropist whose largesse includes the Telfer School of Management at his alma mater back East, the University of Ottawa.

It seems highly improbable that Telfer, who exercised $14.9 million in stock options in 2010 and owned another $23 million worth of unexercised options – would find himself in a legal pickle over a mere $5,000.

Yet with Tuesday’s announcement of OSC action against Agueci and Telfer, the latter accused by the OSC of being an enabler to Agueci, a Telfer friend of some 20 years’ standing, Telfer is in the agonized position of having to defend his honour.

And that’s a good thing. Telfer insists he is being used as a high-profile “collar,” as the cops would say, to serve an OSC’s agenda of finally making an end of rampant white-collar abuses in the stock market.

Telfer says he is “shocked, surprised and amazed that the OSC is taking this position.” The leading mining executive insists the OSC is “grasping at straws.”

That may turn out to be true. The OSC may not be able to prove its changes against Telfer, whom it alleges urged Agueci to buy $5,000 worth of shares in an outfit called 222 Pizza Express Corp. Agueci is alleged to have purchased the shares using an account in the name of her brother-in-law, Santo Iacono, rather than her own.

Right there we have an impropriety. If he acted as the OSC alleges, Telfer should have known that it’s improper to enable a transaction in which the owner of the investment in question has been falsified.

For the rest of this article, please go to the Toronto Star website: http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1128290–olive-goldcorp-chair-ian-telfer-s-name-in-an-osc-insider-trading-probe-is-a-high-profile-symbol

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