Montréal – The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) has launched penal proceedings in the Court of Québec (Criminal and Penal Division), district of Mingan, against Michel L’Italien and is seeking a total fine of $692,000, which is double the minimum fine prescribed by law.

In its suit, the AMF filed 102 charges against Michel L’Italien for violating the Securities Act (the "Act") by:

  • carrying on business as a dealer without being registered as such with the regulatory authority, thereby violating section 148 of the Act (38 counts);
  • making a distribution of a form of investment governed by the Act without a prospectus approved by the regulatory authority, thereby violating section 11 of the Act (33 counts);
  • providing misleading information about a transaction in a security, namely, having obtained shares of Water Bank of America (WBOA) at a price of US $0.90, thereby violating section 197 of the Act (28 counts);
  • declaring that securities, namely, WBOA shares, would be listed, thereby violating section 199 of the Act (3 counts).

On August 12, 2008, the Bureau de décision et de révision en valeurs mobilières (BDRVM) extended the freeze order initially made on May 31, 2007 and renewed four times since. Under the order, several companies and individuals may not dispose of WBOA shares registered in the name of Michel L’Italien, Berchmans L’Italien, Lisette L’Italien, Services Financiers L’Italien inc., Pauline L’Italien, Sylvie Basso, Fleurette Rousseau and/or Michelle Béliveau and must refrain from withdrawing the shares from any other person.

On March 5, 2007, at the request of the AMF, the BDRVM issued a freeze order on a $770,000 unsecured debenture issued by WBOA to 9151-5270 Québec inc. As well, the BDRVM issued cease trade orders against Michel L’Italien in particular, and prohibited him from pursuing activities as a securities dealer.

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

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