Category: Intellectual property

Suspected PlexCoin founder sentenced to two months in prison

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 up to $15 million of tokens, was sentenced to two months of prison and fined $100,000 for contempt of court.

U.S. SEC files charges against PlexCorps

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has obtained an emergency asset freeze against PlexCoin, a controversial “fast-moving” and “purported” initial coin offering (ICO) that has raised up to $15 million from thousands of investors since August 2017.

The SEC also filed charges against Dominic Lacroix, a “recidivist” Quebec securities law violator, his partner Sabrina Paradis-Royer and his company PlexCorps, according to a new filing dated December 1, 2017 in Brooklyn, New York.

Why it matters: Regulators are keeping a watchful eye on ICOs, hoping to make life difficult for predatory offerings that promise exhorbitant returns.

Quebec City businessman believed to behind PlexCoin found guilty of contempt of court

Dominic Lacroix, a Quebec City businessman believed by the Quebec financial watchdog to be behind the virtual currency PlexCoin, was found guilty of contempt of court.

What happened: Lacroix and his company DL Innov inc. failed to respect broad ex parte orders issued by the Quebec Financial Markets Administrative Tribunal on July 20th that forbade them from “engaging in activities for the purpose of directly or indirectly trading in any form of investment” covered by section 1 of the Quebec Securities Act, either in Quebec or from Quebec to outside of the province.

“Public interest is at stake,” said Quebec Superior Court Justice Marc Lesage in a ruling issued mid-October. “Investor protection is primordial.”

PlexCoin still under scrutiny by Quebec financial regulator

Quebec’s financial watchdog is putting the squeeze on Dominic Lacroix.

Ottawa finally proposes regulations on data breach notifications

Private sector organizations following federal privacy law will have to provide breach notifications to customers and the privacy commissioner where it is reasonable to believe that the breach creates a “real risk of significant harm,” under long-awaited proposed regulations to Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

The draft regulations, if and when they come in force, are expected to provide Canadians with better protection while providing organizations with yet another compelling incentive to adopt better security practices to thwart a phenomenon that is occurring with alarming frequency, according to privacy experts.

Early this month, a security breach at credit-monitoring company Equifax Inc., one of three major credit bureaus in the United States, could affect up to 143 million Americans and an undisclosed number of Canadians. More recently still, the personal information of some one million users from the news and entertainment website Canoe.ca were exposed after some of its databases were hacked.

Canadian financial regulators provide guidance on cryptocurrency offerings

Canadian financial regulators, in lockstep with a growing number of jurisdictions, has put the cryptocurrency world on notice after confirming the potential applicability of Canadian securities laws to virtual currencies and related trading and marketplace operations.

Cryptocurrency offerings can provide new opportunities for business to raise capital and for investors to access a broader range of investments but they also raise investor protection concerns due to its volatility, lack of transparency, custody, liquidity and the use of cryptocurrency exchanges, notes the Canadian Securities Administrators in a recently published Staff Notice 46-307.

“Investors may (also) be harmed by unethical practices or illegal schemes, and may not understand the properties of the investment products that they are purchasing,” said the notice.

Quebec financial watchdog raids offices of man prohibited from promoting PlexCoin

The Quebec financial watchdog raided last week the offices of Dominic Lacroix, a Quebec City man who has been prohibited by a tribunal to promote and solicit investors for a new virtual currency called PlexCoin.

The raid turned up a list of people from around the world, including Quebec, the U.S., and Africa, who expressed an interest in investing in PlexCoin, said Sylvain Théberge, a spokesperson with the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), the regulatory and oversight body for Quebec’s financial sector.

Quebec financial watchdog considering its options over PlexCoin

Quebec’s financial watchdog is considering handing over the case involving Dominic Lacroix and his companies, who has been prohibited by a tribunal to promote and solicit investors for a new virtual currency called PlexCoin, to police authorities.

The Autorité des marchés financiers, the regulatory and oversight body for Québec’s financial sector, is also considering launching penal proceedings against Lacroix and his companies, said Sylvain Théberge, AMF’s spokesperson. Such proceedings would take place before the Court of Quebec, a provincial court.

“We are talking about thousands of persons who have shown an interest in this system,” said Théberge, adding that a decision as to whether to call in police or refer the matter for penal proceedings will take place this week. “We are extremely concerned. It seems to us, until the contrary is proven, that investors may become involved in a high-risk investment.”

New virtual currency targeted by Quebec financial watchdog

The Quebec Financial Markets Administrative Tribunal issued a series of expansive ex parte orders prohibiting Dominic Lacroix and several of his companies from promoting and soliciting investors for a new virtual currency set to be launched.

The Tribunal, at the request of Quebec’s financial watchdog, issued a broad order barring Lacroix, DL Innov inc., Gestio inc., PlexCorps, and PlexCoin from engaging in activities for the purpose of directly or indirectly trading in any form of investment covered by the section 1 of the Quebec Securities Act, either in Quebec or from Quebec to outside of the province. Section 1 describes a wide range of forms of investment, including securities, instruments, deposits of money, shares in an investment club, and options or non-traded derivatives.

The Tribunal also ordered them to pull out advertisements or solicitations on the internet over any securities or investment vehicles, and to shut down the site plexcorps.com and plexcoin.com – or at the very least make them inaccessible to Quebec consumers.

The Tribunal also ordered Facebook Canada Ltd. to shut down the Facebook pages of PlexCorps and PlexCoin. Facebook declined to comment. “We can’t share details about cases,” said a spokesperson.

Monetizing data, without consent

You can still download the application if you want. But if you believe what Kyle Zak has to say about it, it’s not something you would do. Not unless you don’t mind the trade-off between ease-of-use and the reams of information you will allegedly provide to the popular audio maker Bose Corp.

The lawsuit filed by Zak against Bose is the latest to allege companies of surreptitiously tracking consumers, without their consent, to collect data and then to either solicit more business or sell it to third parties.

Early this year Ottawa-based sex toy maker We-Vibe settled a privacy lawsuit for $5 million after a line of its vibrators were found to have secretly collected and transmitted “highly sensitive information” about consumers without their knowledge or consent.

Legal profession concerned about algorithmic bias

Algorithms, the set of instructions computers use to carry out a task, have become an integral part of everyday lives, and it is immersing itself in law. In the U.S. judges in some states can use algorithms as part of the sentencing process. Many law enforcement officials in the U.S. are using them to predict when and where crimes are likely to occur. They have been used for years in law firm recruitment. And with advancements in machine learning they are also being used to conduct legal research, predict legal outcomes, and to find out which lawyers win before which judges.

Most algorithms are created with good intentions but questions have surfaced over algorithmic bias at job hunting web sites, credit reporting bureaus, social media sites and even the criminal justice system where sentencing and parole decisions appear to be biased against African Americans.