Benefit Lithium replaces CEO in wake of school admissions scandal

(Reuters) – Benefit Lithium Corp stated on Thursday it has briefly changed Chief Government David Sidoo as he battles U.S. fraud expenses related to a sweeping school admissions scandal.

FILE PHOTO: College students stroll on the campus of Yale College in New Haven, Connecticut November 12, 2015. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photograph

The corporate has named board member Callum Grant, an engineer by coaching, as interim president and stated it could transfer ahead with plans to develop an Argentine lithium deposit.

Sidoo additionally stepped down as president and CEO of Vancouver-based East West Petroleum on Thursday.

Sidoo, 59, was arrested final Friday and charged with conspiracy to commit fraud for allegedly paying $200,000 to the rip-off’s accused mastermind, William “Rick” Singer, to rearrange for folks to take the SAT admissions check for his two sons, based on U.S. courtroom paperwork reviewed by Reuters.

Sidoo plans to journey to a Massachusetts courtroom to face the costs, based on his lawyer, Richard Schonfeld, who requested that “folks don’t rush to judgment within the meantime.”

Lithium is a key ingredient in electrical automobile batteries and a plethora of smaller miners have launched initiatives in recent times to provide the white metallic to Tesla Inc, Volkswagen AG and different automakers.

Ford Motor Co, the second-largest U.S. automaker, stated earlier this week it was contemplating inking provide offers with a lithium producer.

Canada-based Benefit Lithium has undertaken a collection of engineering research crucial to maneuver ahead on improvement of its Cauchari lithium deposit, although it has but to say when the undertaking may come on-line.

Sidoo had been actively assembly with traders, analysts, regulators and others to advertise the corporate. It was not instantly clear how his exit would have an effect on improvement plans.

“All plans are the identical to place Benefit into manufacturing in some unspecified time in the future,” spokesman Max Sali instructed Reuters on Thursday.

Orocobre, Benefit Lithium’s largest shareholder, acknowledged Sidoo’s non permanent depart of absence in an announcement.

The corporate’s Argentine undertaking is situated close to related initiatives run by Lithium Americas Corp and Orocobre.

Reporting by Ernest Scheyder and Cassandra Garrison; Extra reporting by Nia Williams and Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; modifying by Richard Chang

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