Coinsquare Execs Settle with Ontario Securities Commission

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  • The three Coinsquare executives accused of wash trading through the platform have settled with the OSC
  • Two of the three have been handed heavy fines and all three have been banned from operating market-related companies
  • Coinsquare wash traded some 590,000 over 18 months

The three Coinsquare executives accused of manipulating cryptocurrency markets through wash trading have agreed to settle with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC). The trio, made up of co-founders Cole Diamond (CEO) and Virgile Rostand (President), and Felix Mazer, Coinsquare’s former CCO, were accused of a number of transgressions with regard to market manipulation, admitting billions of dollars’ worth of wash trading on the exchange between April 2018 and December 2019. All three executives have agreed to leave their positions with the company and will have to pay huge penalties.

590,000 Washed Over 18 Months

The Coinsquare cryptocurrency exchange leaders admitted to around 840,000 illicit wash trades on the platform over the 18-month period, amounting to a total value of around 590,000. As well as falsifying trading volume, the trio also admitted to misleading clients over the practice as well as taking reprisals against an internal whistleblower, who was fired after raising continuous complaints over the presence of wash trading at the company.

The Coinsquare executives have agreed to resign as part of the settlement, with Diamond ordered to pay a $1 million penalty and Rostand $900,000. The pair must also pay a further $300,000 between them for costs associated with the OSC’s investigation. Mazer had already voluntarily paid $50,000 to the commission and faced no further penalty. In addition to the fines, Diamond and Rostand have also been banned from operating or owning market-related companies for up to three years, while Mazer received a one-year ban.

Coinsquare Case Quickly Wrapped Up

Given that the OSC only laid the charges at the door of Coinsquare last week, the speed with which the case has been wrapped up is remarkable. Clearly the evidence against the trio was overwhelming, and settling the case was in their best interest. Coinsquare will continue as a business with a new management structure and, hopefully, a brighter future ahead of it, now this chapter closed.