Allegations of insider trading - Cease trade order against Dominic Côté; Several accounts frozen

Decisions and Freeze and cease trade orders Securities

Montréal – At the request of the Autorité des marchés financiers, the Bureau de décision et de révision (the "Bureau") issued a cease trade order against Dominic Côté on February 1, 2010. Several of Denis Côté's accounts held at financial institutions were also frozen.

The AMF alleges that Dominic Côté, an information technology manager at the Montréal office of law firm Ogilvy Renault LLP, carried out transactions in securities whereby he realized a profit of $522,538.25 in just over three years while in possession of privileged information regarding certain companies.

The AMF wishes to stress that the proceedings filed with the Bureau are not directed at Ogilvy Renault. Moreover, the firm is co-operating with the AMF's investigation into this matter.

Between April 2006 and November 2009, Dominic Côté allegedly traded in the shares of 17 companies (14 reporting issuers and 3 non-reporting issuers) while in possession of privileged information. He purchased shares shortly before information was released publicly that had an effect on the market price of these companies' securities. He then sold the shares on the same day or several days following the release of information pertaining, in particular, to takeover bids, mergers, share redemptions or strategic agreements.

In its analysis, the Bureau justifies its decision on the grounds that the illegal use of privileged information is a serious securities offence. The Bureau added that financial authorities must take adequate action in such cases. The Bureau further noted that "[translation] persons who commit such offences undermine market efficiency by using information that only they have. These individuals create an imbalance between those who are in the know and those who aren't."

The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec’s financial sector.

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