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CALIFORNIA | BRIEFLY / MINING

Bre-X Insiders Won't Face Fraud Charges

May 13, 1999|Bloomberg News

Bre-X Minerals Ltd. executives won't face criminal charges that they participated in a fraud that led to one of the most spectacular corporate collapses in Canadian history. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has been investigating Bre-X since its 1997 collapse. The company's market value rose to more than $4.11 billion until the company acknowledged that someone tampered with drill samples from its purported gold deposit in Indonesia. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police made the decision not to press charges a day after John Felderhof, Bre-X's vice chairman and chief geologist, was charged by the Ontario Securities Commission with trading stock based on confidential information and misleading investors. He now lives in the Cayman Islands. The RCMP said there was insufficient evidence to proceed with criminal fraud charges against Bre-X insiders. It said charges were unlikely to stand up in court because witnesses who live outside the country can't be forced to testify in Canada.

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