Former CannTrust leaders plead not guilty to securities offenses

Three former CannTrust Holdings leaders have pleaded not guilty to quasi-criminal charges related to thousands of kilograms of cannabis found growing in unlicensed rooms operated by the company.

Peter Aceto, Eric Paul, and Mark Litwin, the cannabis company's former chief executive, chairman, and vice-chairman, entered their pleas Monday — the fourth anniversary of the legalization of adult-use cannabis in Canada — at the Ontario Court of Justice's Old City Hall court in Toronto.

Aceto, Paul, and Litwin are facing charges of fraud and authorizing, permitting, or acquiescing in the commission of an offense. Litwin and Paul have also been charged with insider trading charges and Litwin and Aceto with making a false prospectus and false preliminary prospectus.

The charges came more than three years after CannTrust announced in July 2019 that Health Canada had discovered unlicensed cultivation at its Pelham, Ont. greenhouse between October 2018 and March 2019, before the five rooms received the appropriate licenses in April 2019.

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