The noose is tightening around Dominic Lacroix, a Quebec City businessman believed by Quebec’s financial watchdog and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to be behind PlexCorps, a controversial cryptocurrency start-up accused of fraudulently selling millions of dollars’ worth of digital assets.
A Quebec City businessman believed by Quebec’s financial watchdog and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to be behind PlexCorps, a controversial cryptocurrency start-up accused of fraudulently selling up to millions of dollars’ worth of tokens, has been ordered to hand all bitcoins in his possession within 48 hours, ruled the Quebec Financial Markets Administrative Tribunal.
Nearly 10 years after Quebec’s financial watchdog launched penal proceedings against an investment consultant, a Court of Quebec judge fined Denis Patry $2.1 million after being found guilty of 89 counts of securities violations.
A Montreal man was fined $11.2 million, the largest fine ever issued in Quebec for securities offences, and sentenced to a three-month jail sentence for fraudulent penny stock practices commonly referred to as “pump and dump” scheme.
Jean-François Amyot is among one of five people and two companies that plead guilty to charges laid against them by the Quebec financial watchdog, Autorité des marchés financiers, nearly three years ago during a trial earlier this year.
Desjardins Financial Security Services Inc. has been fined $200,000 and costs of $25,000 following a settlement agreement reached with the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada over its failure to conduct a reasonable supervisory investigation on one of its former representatives who misappropriated $3.7 million from several clients.
More than a decade after a tip led the Competition Bureau to conduct an investigation on eight Montreal-area companies suspected of rigging bids for private sector contracts, a Quebec numbered company specializing in the installation of ventilation systems was fined $140,000 fine after it plead guilty to one count of bid-rigging.
A group of Ottawa-based technology providers were found not guilty of 60 charges of bid-rigging and conspiracy to rig bids by a jury after an eight-month criminal trial in a case that provides guidance and brings greater clarity over the reach of Canadian bid-rigging laws.
In a case that draws some light into a murky financial world, a charity and a businessman who sued a Montreal law firm caught in a tangled web of lawsuits after a former partner allegedly orchestrated a multi-million Ponzi scheme lost their case after Quebec Superior Court held that the lawsuits were groundless.
The law firm, Kaufman Laramée LLP, faces several lawsuits stemming from a multi-million dollar fraud allegedly committed by Dany Perras, a Montreal lawyer who abruptly resigned from the roll in October 2011 after the Quebec legal society launched an investigation into the misappropriation of funds. Perras, who briefly practiced at Kaufman Laramée for six months in 2011, was barred from practicing for 10 years by the Quebec Bar in 2014. He was also ordered by the Barreau du Québec’s Disciplinary Council to return more than $3 million to clients. Perras has never been criminally charged.
In the second-largest fine ever ordered by a court in Canada for bid-rigging offenses, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice fined Mitsubishi Electric Corp. $13.4 million after it plead guilty to three counts of bid-rigging for participating in an international conspiracy, capping a fine week by the Competition Bureau.
Bureau investigations involving car parts have resulted in over $84 million in fines imposed by the courts in Canada since April 2013. The largest fine to date under the bureau’s campaign was $30 million levied in 2013 on Yazaki Corp. for rigging bids on wire harnesses for Honda and Toyota. All told, ten car parts manufacturers have been fined.
When Judge Réna Émond of the Court of Québec imposed just before the Christmas holidays fines totaling $120,000 on Danny Gagné and ISpeedzone Inc. for illegal practice as a securities dealer, it wrapped up a good year for Quebec’s financial watchdog.
Nearly $8.8 million in fines and administrative penalties were imposed on 158 individuals and firms in 2016 for various offences under laws administered by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), according to the latest enforcement report by the regulator.
Internal investigations are likely going to be more costly and more difficult to conduct for Canadian companies with operations in the United States following a change of policy by the U.S. Department of Justice that will now prioritize the prosecution of individual employees for civil and criminal corporate wrongdoing, according to anti-corruption and white collar criminal defence lawyers.
The new policy is widely expected to compel companies being investigated by the DOJ for civil and criminal transgressions to undertake more timely, independent, thorough and well-documented internal investigations that will almost certainly drive a wedge between the organization and its senior executives and employees whose interests may be at odds with one another, added the legal experts.