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Corel CEO insider trading pre-trial date set

Cowpland up before the beak on 14 January 2000

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The Canadian authorities' legal action against Corel CEO Michael Cowpland will enter its pre-trial phase on 14 January 2000 to determine when and how the allegations of insider trading will be heard. According to Reuters, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), Canada's financial regulator, will soon release details of its case against Cowpland. Cowpland's legal counsel, Michael Edelson, predicted the case "won't be as simple as you anticipate". The OSC charged Cowpland on 14 October on three counts of insider trading centering on the Corel boss' sale company stock in August 1997. The sale brought Cowpland C$20.4 million ($13.96 million). The sale took place mere weeks before Corel announced a Q3 loss of $32 million, which saw its share price fall 40 per cent. Cowpland claims he acted without reference to the company's financial state -- the sale was made to pay off personal debts, he said. The OSC also charged Cowpland's holding company, MCJC Holdings, with one count of insider trading. A guilty verdict would leave Cowpland facing a fine of C$1 million ($680,000) plus three times any profit he made on the sale, and a stint of up to two years in gaol. ®

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