Montréal – The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) has launched penal proceedings in the Court of Québec (Criminal and Penal Division, district of Montréal) against Michel Marcoux, a group savings plan representative and president of Avantages Services Financiers inc. ("Avantages").

As part of the proceedings, the AMF filed three charges against Michel Marcoux for violating the Securities Act, R.S.Q. c. V-1.1 (the "Act"), by hindering:

  • an AMF inspector in the course of an inspection of the securities adviser Avantages by falsely stating that he was unaware of the identity of clients of Dominion Investments Ltd. ("Dominion"), which held brokerage accounts at Avantages, thereby violating section 195 of the Act (1 count);
  • an AMF investigator on two occasions in the course of an investigation into Dominion, which held brokerage accounts at Avantages, by falsely stating that the beneficial owners of Dominion's accounts under management were Dominion and/or the liquidator appointed in the Bahamas, thereby violating section 195 of the Act (2 counts).

In view of the time period over which the offences occurred (April 2004 to February 2006), the fact that Mr. Marcoux is a financial market professional, and the need for an exemplary penalty, the AMF is seeking, with respect to these three charges, a total fine of $15,000, plus costs, or five times the total minimum fine.

The brokerage firm Dominion, which is located in the Bahamas, was owned by Martin Tremblay, who was arrested in New York on January 23, 2006 by the U.S. authorities for laundering some $1 billion through Dominion for the benefit of certain clients. In addition, on January 27 and February 11, 2006, at the request of the AMF, the Bureau de décision et de révision en valeurs mobilières issued a freeze order in respect of all the assets of Dominion and Martin Tremblay, including the brokerage accounts opened at Avantages. Dominion and Martin Tremblay are still under investigation by the AMF.

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

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