Pump-and-dump schemer target of securities commission hearing

Photo: Rob Kruyt

A former Whistler man who ran a crude pump-and-dump scheme is facing sanctions after a BC Securities Commission (BCSC) panel found he had contravened the Securities Act.

Volkmar Guido Hable was found by the BCSC to have been involved in market manipulation involving companies for which he was a director and then fabricated financial statements when confronted by the BCSC.

Meanwhile, Hable appears to have remained active on social media as recently as May promoting his company, Samarium Tennessine Corp., and himself as a billionaire who was the secret Russian connection who paid former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort to exert Russian influence on the American political scene.

In one bizarre post on a Samarium Tennessine Corp. Weebly website – tweeted out on April 28 from Hable’s Twitter account – Hable becomes a woman being interviewed by Forbes writer Celinne Da Costa about how “she” decided to quit “her” job as an advertising executive in New York City to open a retreat in Panama.

The Q&A is clearly cut and pasted from an actual interview Da Costa conducted with Vickie Mogensen, with Mogensen’s name replaced with Hable’s. It appears Hable might have used the same cut-and-paste tactic when the BCSC ordered him to produce financial documents.

Hable’s various news releases and social media posts make grandiose claims in which Hable meets with powerful state leaders in Africa, Switzerland and the U.S., all of which appears to be an attempt to establish some kind of profile as a high-powered investor.

Hable was the former executive vice-president of Samaranta Mining Corp., which changed its name to Icon Exploration Inc. (TSX-V:IEX.H) in 2013, a few months after Hable executed his pump-and-dump scheme and resigned. Hable was also the director for Samarium Group Holding.

According to a BCSC investigation, Hable wrote a letter on behalf of Samarium notifying the company’s intent to take a 51% stake in Samaranta at $0.12 per share – an inflated price, given that Samaranta’s stock was trading at $0.02.

Samaranta’s shares rose to $0.05 over a period of a few days, during which time Hable dumped his shares, netting $157,597, according to the BCSC. Hable then issued a press release stating Samarium was withdrawing its takeover offer.

According to the BCSC, Samarium had neither the intention nor the financial wherewithal to execute the deal.

When confronted by the BCSC, Hable provided a financial report from Samarium in December 2013 that the BCSC determined to be a “poorly altered version” of a financial report from a company called Sing Investments.

“We have no difficulty in inferring that the purported takeover bid for the shares of Samaranta by Samarium Group Holding was not genuine and was made with the express intent of creating demand for and a better price for Hable’s Samaranta shares,” the BCSC panel stated.

A hearing is scheduled to be held in August to hear submissions on sanctions against Hable. At press time, Hable had not responded to emails from Business in Vancouver.