A Quebec City couple allegedly behind a cryptocurrency start-up accused of fraudulently selling millions dollars worth of tokens agreed to relinquish the entire amounts raised from PlexCoin investors.
Gaffes by the Quebec’s financial watchdog prompted a Quebec judge to stay charges of insider trading and market manipulation against former online gambling mogul David Baazov and his co-accused.
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.
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’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.”
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.
Quebec’s anti-corruption law, adopted more than a year ago in the wake of allegations of bribes, collusion, influence peddling, and widespread corruption in the construction industry, is proving to be good business for accounting firms.
Adopted more than a year following the launch of the Charbonneau Commission, a public inquiry mandated to examine potential corruption in the awarding and management of public construction contracts, the Integrity in Public Contracts Act (Act) compels companies to obtain a seal of integrity if they wish to bid on the billion dollars in contracts awarded annually in the Quebec public sector.
Companies that have been barred from bidding on public contracts stand little chance of obtaining injunctive relief that would temporarily suspend a new law aimed at curbing corruption in the construction industry, following a closely-watched ruling by Quebec Superior Court.
A couple of weeks after an agreement in principle was reached in the Norbourg class action suit, opening the door for thousands of investors to recover nearly all the money they lost in one of the biggest investment frauds in the country, Quebec’s securities regulator is facing an expensive legal tab.