Montréal, July 18, 2011 - The Autorité des marchés financiers (the AMF) has launched penal proceedings in the judicial district of Laval against Manuel Da Silva, Aquagold International Inc., Sources d'eau bleue du Québec, Aquablue International inc. and Aquablue Spring Water International Inc. for violations related to illegal distributions. The AMF filed 42 charges and is seeking fines totalling $710,000 and a prison term.
More specifically, Manuel Da Silva faces 32 charges: 14 for illegally pursuing activities as a securities dealer or adviser, 12 for aiding with an illegal distribution, three for declaring that shares would be listed, and three for making misrepresentations. Fines totalling $485,000, or five times the minimum fines set out in the Act, as well as a prison term are being sought.
The AMF filed seven charges for illegal distribution against Aquagold International Inc., Sources d'eau bleue du Québec, Aquablue International inc. and Aquablue Spring Water International, and is seeking fines totalling $225,000.
The AMF investigation showed that 16 investors lost approximately $287,600 in connection with this matter.
On March 5, 2010, at the request of the AMF, the Bureau de décision et de révision (the "Bureau"') issued freeze and cease trade orders as well as an order to cease any activity as a securities adviser against Manuel Da Silva. A cease trade order was also issued against Aquablue International and Aquablue Spring Water International Inc.
In its March 2010 decision, the Bureau stated that it was concerned about the allegations and facts presented by the AMF, in particular that Manuel Da Silva had made representations to potential investors about projects to sell bottled water in China, the acquisition of a bottling plant in Smith Falls, Ontario, and an exchange listing of the shares sold to investors.
The Autorité des marchés financiers ("AMF") is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec's financial industry.
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