[Editors Note: The complaint and supporting documents can be found at: http://www.scenicsantaritas.org/news]
Local Group Asks: “What Else Are They Hiding?”
(Tucson, Ariz.) A formal complaint was filed today with the Arizona Corporation Commission alleging Rosemont Copper, a wholly owned subsidiary of Augusta Resource Corporation, repeatedly submitted false statements that concealed a corporate bankruptcy involving two of Rosemont’s top officers.
Arizona law requires companies to affirmatively disclose whether its officers or directors have ever been subject to corporate bankruptcy proceedings. Knowingly filing false statements on the disclosure forms is a felony criminal offense in Arizona and provides grounds for the state to dissolve the company.
“For the past seven years, starting with its initial application, Rosemont Copper filed statements falsely asserting that none of its officers or directors had been an officer of another company placed into bankruptcy,” said Vince Rabago, a Tucson attorney and former Arizona prosecutor.
Public information and Canadian securities records reveal that key Rosemont officers — Donald B. Clark and Richard W. Warke — served as officers of West Coast Plywood Company Ltd., a company placed into bankruptcy in Canada on July 27, 1995. Warke’s and Clark’s other companies disclosed the West Coast Plywood bankruptcy to Canadian securities regulators in May 2005. Just one month later, Rosemont Copper filed its incorporation papers in Arizona, failing to disclose that bankruptcy.
“We know they’re not telling the truth in Arizona,” Rabago said, “because the bankruptcy was acknowledged in corporate filings elsewhere. What else are they hiding?”
Rabago filed the complaint on behalf of Save the Scenic Santa Ritas, Inc. (SSSR) a coalition comprised of local businesses, organizations, and individuals opposed to Rosemont’s plans for a massive open-pit copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains near Tucson.
Augusta Resource is a publicly traded company in the United States and Canada. Warke is chairman of Augusta Resource and Clark is on the board of directors. Rosemont is seeking regulatory approvals to develop a massive open-pit copper mine on private and public land in the Santa Rita Mountains.
This complaint follows two earlier complaints filed by SSSR that asked U.S. and Canadian securities regulators to investigate alleged violations of securities laws in both countries. These complaints focused on Augusta Resource’s failure to disclose Warke’s personal bankruptcy and an insider trading settlement agreement on securities disclosure forms.