01/07/2015 06:25 EST | Updated 03/09/2015 05:59 EDT

Men manipulated the price of company shares: B.C. Securities Commission

VANCOUVER - Securities' regulators in British Columbia say a North Vancouver man and two U.S. citizens manipulated the share price of a mineral company.

The B.C. Securities Commission found the manipulation occurred between June 15 and July 6, 2009 and affected share prices for Sungro Minerals Corp., which was incorporated in Nevada and had a head office in Surrey, B.C.

The panel found that at the start of trading the company had $299 in assets, and despite no news that would justify an increase, its share price rose from 0.45 cents to a high of $4.75.

The commission found Mark McLeary of North Vancouver, and Americans Robert Hainey and Jerry Williams were part of a plan to dramatically increase the share price over the 13 days.

The panel concluded Williams, assisted by Hainey, promoted the shares on the message board while McLeary directed their sale to message board members.

The securities' regulator has not yet announced any disciplinary action and has asked the three men to make applications on sanctions.