On December 9th 2020, i.e. almost one year ago to the day, this desk received a message from reader “M” regarding Otso Gold (OTSO.v):
I remember it coming through, M. I also remember the way I shuffled it to the back of my mind, had other things to deal with that day and mentally added to myself at the time, “And what do I know about Finland, anyway?” There are enough bad apples in this sector, chasing after a new name with a bad rep felt like just another time suck. That was my error, so first an apology to M for not getting back to him. I’ve felt increasingly sheepish about not replying all year, what with the string of NRs out of OTSO.v in 2021 as the company unravelled. However the NR today takes the biscuit:
TORONTO, Dec. 8, 2021 /CNW/ – Otso Gold Corp. (“Otso” or the “Company”), (TSXV: OTSO) has been informed by government authorities in Finland that Brian Wesson (“Mr Wesson”), formerly the CEO and a Director of Otso and currently the Managing Director of Lionsbridge Capital Pty., has been detained and is under investigation by law enforcement authorities in that country. Mr. Wesson and Lionsbridge until recently were retained by the Company to manage the Otso Gold Mine.
Mr Wesson resigned without prior notice from the Board of Directors of Otso, and from his position as CEO of Otso, on the morning of 30 November 2021, after representatives of the Board of Directors of the Company together with Alvarez & Marsal (currently providing Chief Restructuring Officer and Chief Financial Officer services to the Company) informed him that they were on their way to the mine site. Clyde Wesson, formerly a Vice President and a Director of Otso, also resigned at this time.
The Company has acted swiftly to inform law enforcement of these matters, and understands that Mr Wesson was apprehended on 30 November 2021 and that he remains in pre-trial custody under criminal suspicion of aggravated embezzlement and payment fraud.
The whole NR here and if only all countries were the same as Finland when it comes to bad actor CEOs that siphon off shareholder cash into their own back pockets and those of their family members. Peru for example, Diego. I owe you, reader M.