Corel chief executive Michael Cowpland has claimed that an insider trading probe against him by Canadian regulators had been tainted by a newspaper account, which violated due process.
The National Post reported that the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) had completed a 21-month investigation of stock trades undertaken by Cowpland in August 1997 and submitted a report to senior management recommending action against him.
But Cowpland hit out at the newspaper report, claiming that no discussions had taken place with his lawyer, Nigel Campbell at Blake, Cassels & Graydon in Toronto and, as a result, publishing the story was a violation of due process. Cowpland added that he viewed the information within the story as "highly questionable".
The OSC refused to comment on the review, which saw Cowpland selling 2.4 million of Corel's shares for C$20.5m only a month before the applications supplier reported a surprising $32m loss.
The announcement saw Corel's stock price crash by 40 percent, but Cowpland had sold his shares when they were trading at between C$8.20 and C$8.80.
Two commissioners will decide if the OSC should take action against Cowpland, and if found guilty of insider trading, he could face a jail sentence and a minimum fine of C$1m.
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