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Engineer pleads guilty in Consolidated Thomson insider trading case

An engineer who worked on a project for Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines Ltd. has pleaded guilty to illegal insider trading and has been fined $18,000 by a Quebec judge.

Quebec's securities regulator, the Autorité des marchés financiers, accused Martial Côté of trading securities while in possession of undisclosed insider information while doing work for the mining company in 2006.

The AMF said Mr. Côté was aware of the results of a feasibility study related to the Bloom Lake iron ore deposit.

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The guilty plea in Quebec Court comes two weeks after Consolidated Thompson chief executive officer Richard Quesnel was found guilty of insider trading and stepped down as president and CEO. Mr. Quesnel, who has not been sentenced, said that the ruling was "erroneous" and that he will "vigorously pursue" an appeal.

Consolidated Thompson said Mr. Quesnel has temporarily resigned as CEO but remains a senior adviser to the company and continues to have the board's "full support."

He was replaced by executive chairman Brian Tobin, who has become the company's acting CEO.

The AMF launched its case against Mr. Quesnel in 2008, saying it was seeking a fine of $202,461 after accusing him of buying 30,000 shares in 2006 while in possession of undisclosed information about the Bloom Lake feasibility study. He was also accused of failing to publicly disclose his transactions within the required 10-day period.

The regulator has also charged engineer Patrice Live of illegal insider trading related to trading in Consolidated Thompson shares while doing engineering work for the company. His trial is set to begin Dec. 7.

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Real Estate Reporter

Janet McFarland is the real estate reporter for The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business, with a focus on residential real estate trends. She joined Report on Business in 1995, and has specialized in reporting on corporate governance, executive compensation, pension policy, business law, securities regulation and enforcement of white-collar crime. More

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