Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Don and Leslie Rutledge, Robert Gardner = Redux

Welcome citizens. We make room for yet another charter resident crew of Vancouver paper pitchers and wowsers. Will it ever end? Probably not.

So what's our claim to Infamey for the terrible threesome before we get really rolling here?
Promoter uses others' money to live large
"In any event, it does not appear that Leslie Rutledge was directing Palisades' affairs. That role appears to have been handled by her husband, Don Rutledge, even though his name doesn't appear on disclosure documents. For a knowledgeable investor--which Naidoo wasn't-- this would have been cause for alarm.

In 1997, Don Rutledge and his firm, Fleming Financial Inc., got into trouble with Vancouver Stock Exchange officials over their promotion and administration of VSE-listed T.K.O. Resources Inc. and were ordered off the exchange. Alberta Stock Exchange officials similarly turfed them for alleged irregularities in their promotion of ASE-listed Fairmile Acquisitions Inc.

In September 2000, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a formal complaint in U.S. District Court in Colorado alleging that Rutledge and an associate, Gregory Skufca, used brokerage accounts in Vancouver and the U.S. to manipulate the share price of Snelling Travel Inc. from 20 cents to more than$6 on the OTC Bulletin Board in the United States. In November 2004, after a 10-day trial, a jury acquitted them of all charges.

Undeterred, Rutledge continued to deal with some of the market's worst actors, including Thai fugitive Rakesh Saxena, who promoted essentially worthless U.S. over-the-counter stocks while under house arrest in Richmond, and former Toronto stockbroker Stephen Taub, who is being pursued by brokerage regulators for failing to screen out clients who would impugn the integrity of the capital markets.

By all appearances, though, it was a lucrative business. Rutledge lived in a $2-million house in West Vancouver, drove expensive cars (including a Porsche), travelled extensively, and consorted with celebrities. As recently as 2008, he and his wife were listed as members of the Hollyburn Country Club.

But it was all a facade. Don Rutledge has been swimming in debt since at least March 2003, when he was petitioned into bankruptcy by Canada Revenue Agency. His declared liabilities totalled $4.4 million, including $2.6 million owed to CRA, against only $1,680 in assets.


"By way of background, the affidavits and pleadings filed state that Mr. Gardner was, until February 8, 2011, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Viridis, which is a public company selling wood pellets. Mr. Gardner resigned as a director of Viridis on April 7, 2011. This action was commenced on August 15, 2011 by Mr. Gardner who sued Viridis in debt for allegedly outstanding expenses and remuneration. Viridis responded with a counterclaim alleging that Mr. Gardner breached fiduciary duties to Viridis." http://bcjustice.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6271:gardner-v-viridis-energy-inc-public-company-selling-wood-pellets-seeks-declaration-that-john-douglas-shields-barrister-and-solicitor-and-the-law-firm-shields-harney-are-in-a-disqualifying-conflict-of-interest-in-the-present-action&catid=589:general-commercial-2012&Itemid=1581