AMF intervenes in scheme involving art gallery


Montréal - The Autorité des marchés financiers (the "AMF") has launched a penal proceeding in the judicial district of Terrebonne and a series of administrative procedures against a father, his son and an art gallery, alleging that they were involved in an investment scheme involving the financing of works of art.

The AMF intends to show that François and Jean-François Demers, the Galerie Les règles de l'art as well as Jean-Marc Picard and Pierre Major proposed illegal investments in shares of works of art, promising returns of 10 to 20%.

Service against François Demers
The publication of this press release effects service, duly authorized by a Justice of the Peace, of offence No. 4211-CT which includes one charge against François Demers. It also constitutes the special means of service authorized by the Bureau de décision et de révision (Bureau) against François Demers of an application to prohibit him from acting as a securities adviser and trading in securities, and to order him to pay administrative penalties for having illegally carried on activities as a securities dealer and adviser and having made illegal distributions. This application will be presented pro forma by the AMF at 2:00 p.m. on March 12, 2015 at the Bureau de décision et de révision, located at 500 René-Lévesque Boulevard West, suite 16.40, Montréal, Québec, H2Z 1W7.

Penal aspect
The AMF has launched a penal proceeding which includes 52 charges against François Demers, his son Jean-François Demers and Galerie Les règles de l'art.

More specifically, the AMF has brought one count against François Demers, the head of the gallery when the alleged facts occurred, for making a distribution without a prospectus. He is facing a minimum fine of $5,000.

Jean-François Demers is facing one count of illegal distribution and 12 counts for illegal practice as a securities dealer. He could be fined a minimum of $29,000. Recall that Jean-François Demers was fined a total of $344,000 in 2012 as part of a previous proceeding also related to illegal distributions. In 2005, Mr. Demers also gave the AMF an undertaking to cease any activity in respect of the distribution of investment contracts, namely, the sale or offer for sale of land or portions of undivided property for investment and short-term speculation.

As for Galerie Les règles de l'art, located in Saint-Sauveur, it is facing 38 counts of illegal distribution.

Administrative aspect
The AMF has also filed an application with the Bureau to issue various prohibitions of different duration against Galerie Les règles de l'art, François and Jean-François Demers as well as Jean-Marc Picard and Pierre Major, two gallery employees. As well, it has asked the Bureau to impose administrative penalties against the two employees. The pro forma hearing for this application will be held on March 12, 2015.

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

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