Restaurant owner charged with market rigging and deceiving securities firms

Singapore citizen Bruno Ludovic Soligny is accused of carrying out more than 3,800 false trades involving 16.6 million shares to create "a misleading appearance of active trading".
Singapore citizen Bruno Ludovic Soligny is accused of carrying out more than 3,800 false trades involving 16.6 million shares to create "a misleading appearance of active trading".PHOTO: THE BUSINESS TIMES

SINGAPORE - A restaurateur was charged in court on Thursday (Jan 4) with market rigging and various other securities offences in relation to troubled mainboard-listed dye maker China Fibretech.

Bruno Ludovic Soligny, 39, a naturalised Singapore citizen, faces a total of 19 charges under the Securities and Futures Act.

He is accused of carrying out more than 3,800 false trades involving 16.6 million shares in the counter between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2015 to create "a misleading appearance of active trading".

These trades, described in court documents as reckless, did not involve any change in beneficial ownership of the shares.

Soligny also faces three charges of carrying out trades in order to lower the share price of China Fibretech on July 1, July 7 and July 8 in 2015.

Another four charges allege that he engaged in false trades on July 16, July 22, Aug 31 and Sept 14 in 2015, which inflated the market price of the counter.

Between July 1, 2013 and Sept 30, 2015, Soligny is said to have used three different share trading accounts held by a Linda Na Ching Ching to trade in China Fibretech shares. Court documents did not state his relationship with the account holder.

He is accused of deceiving UOB Kay Hian, Maybank Kim Eng Securities and KGI Fraser Securities by using these accounts without consent from the securities firms.

Soligny, who became a substantial shareholder of China Fibretech on Oct 24, 2014, also faces eight charges for breaching his duty to notify the company in writing of the extent and changes in his interests.

On Oct 29, 2014, he allegedly failed to notify the company of particulars of the voting shares in which he had an interest.

And on seven occasions between March 24, 2015 and July 21, 2015, he allegedly failed to notify the company of the change in the percentage level of his interests in the voting shares.

Soligny is represented by Mr Hamidul Haq of Rajah & Tann.

His case will be mentioned in court again on Feb 1.

If convicted of market rigging and deceiving the securities firms, Soligny faces a fine of up to $250,000 or a jail term of up to seven years, or both.

If convicted of breaching his duty of disclosure, he faces a fine of up to $25,000 on each charge.

Trading in China Fibretech shares has been suspended since November 2015.

In March last year, the Singapore Exchange filed complaints with the Chinese authorities against the company's executive chairman and chief executive officer Wu Xinhua for alleged involvement in the company's unauthorised transactions.