A former BC Physician is facing charges in the US for his alleged involvement in a billion-dollar stock fraud scheme. Dr. Avtar Singh Dhillon was arrested following a four-year-long investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He has been charged with securities fraud, conspiracy, and obstruction. On November 30, 2021, he will answer these charges in US courts. Here’s an overall look at the details of the case and the shady business dealings of Dr. Avtar Singh Dhillon.
Dr. Avtar Singh Dhillon – Who is this guy?
Dr. Avtar Singh Dhillon obtained his medical license at UBC and had a family practice in Surrey. In fact, you can still find his reviews on sites like BCdoctordirectory. In addition to being a respected physician, he served as past chairman of the Cannabis Canada Council and is a former member of the securities practice advisory committee to the B.C. Securities Commission. This guy was a big deal and had solid credentials backing him up.
Image courtesy of Megan Devlin/Richmond News
Despite his success and established career, he left his practice for the corporate world and focused on companies in the health science field. Considering his background, this was a natural fit. As a stock promoter, Dr. Avtar Singh Dhillon became a big player in the corporate world of weed and medicine. Over the past 25 years, he has claimed to have raised over a billion dollars from investors, has directed a number of publicly traded companies, and is currently still a director for two.
On August 3, 2021, Dr. Avtar Singh Dhillon was arrested while at his home in Long Beach, California (A yacht dotted waterfront estate valued at over $12 million USD). After posting a $1.5 million USD bail bond, he was released with conditions. In addition to agreeing not to travel, he had to surrender his passport and wear a GPS monitoring ankle bracelet.
The Other Alleged Key Players
The charges surrounding Dr. Avtar Singh Dhillon can be summed up as insider trading. As one could imagine, this type of crime usually involves more than one person and this case is no exception. His alleged co-conspirators include:
- Fred Sharp of West Vancouver
- Paul Sexton of Anmore
- Jackson Friesen of Delta
- Graham Taylor of Vancouver
- Zhiying Yvonne (Chen) Gasarch of Richmond
- Mike Veldhuis of Vancouver
- Courtney Kelln of Surrey.
Those listed above are officially facing charges, but several more people are under investigation. To date, The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has frozen multiple bank accounts in both the USA and Canada. Many accounts have all been under intense scrutiny, especially those belonging to people close to the accused.
Why is the heat on Dr. Avtar Singh Dhillon?
Dr. Avtar Singh Dhillon is being accused of knowingly participating in a pump and dump scheme involving three separate companies. The evidence against him does not look good. In fact, he is the first to be criminally charged in relation to the case. Most of the people involved are facing civil charges, not criminal. The allegations against him include:
- Using a lawyer to conceal ownership of shares for Arch Therapeutics and OncoSec Medical Inc. He was chairman of the board for both companies between March 2011 and April 2020.
- Hiding large penny stock holdings in portions of less than 5%. This was done to evade disclosure requirements and compliance protocols.
- Falsely representing millions of beneficially owned shares by putting them in two shell companies.
- Using misinformation to seek out favorable legal advice. This advice was then used to convince brokers to deposit shares without trading restrictions.
Emerald Health Therapeutics
The four-year investigation into Dr. Avtar Singh Dhillon was focused on his involvement with American companies. Now, many are wondering about the Canadian companies he is connected to. Emerald Health Therapeutics is a Vancouver-based cannabis company; Dr. Avtar Singh Dhillon is one of the founders. Two days after his arrest, he resigned from all roles within the company.
Regarding the charges and resignation, Emerald Health Therapeutics released this statement, “The Company is not aware of any improper trading in Emerald securities and no allegations have been made against any other person associated with Emerald, including any of its officers or other directors. The Company and its legal counsel are currently considering whether there are any additional steps they can take in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders.”
Dr. Avtar Singh Dhillon faces up to 25 years in prison for each stock offense charge and up to 20 years in prison for obstructing a proceeding.