Montréal – The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) has launched penal proceedings in respect of 54 charges against Réal Samson in the Court of Québec (Criminal and Penal Division), district of Québec City, and is seeking a prison term and $348,000 in fines.

Scope of proceedings
Between January 2004 and October 2007, Réal Samson, the director, president and majority shareholder of Les Services financiers RSL inc., is alleged to have acted illegally as a securities dealer by distributing debt securities of ONE Financial, Les Services financiers RSL inc. and OpenSky Capital, thereby allegedly committing 24 violations of the Securities Act (the "Act"). The AMF is seeking a fine of $2,000 for each of these 24 charges, for a total of $48,000.

Réal Samson is also alleged to have made illegal distributions to some 15 investors in the Québec City region for an amount totalling close to $700,000. The defendant is therefore facing 24 charges in respect of which the AMF is seeking a prison term and fines totalling $240,000, or $10,000 for each offence.

In addition, Réal Samson told investors that their capital was protected, which would constitute a misrepresentation, an offence punishable under the Act. The AMF has therefore filed 6 charges and is seeking a prison term and fines totalling $60,000, or $10,000 for each offence.

Freeze order issued on June 23, 2009
Lastly, to protect investors and in the public interest, on June 23, 2009, the AMF obtained an order from the Bureau de décision et de révision en valeurs mobilières (BDRVM) further to information that Réal Samson and his spouse, Suzanne Labrecque, had sold a residential building and intended to leave the province of Québec. Under this order, Réal Samson and his spouse may not dispose of the funds, securities or other assets they have on deposit, under control or in safekeeping belonging to them directly or indirectly and derived in particular from the sale of a residential building.

In its decision, the BDRVM stated that the allegations and facts presented by the AMF were concerning:

  • Mr. Samson created fictitious products in order to collect substantial funds from Québec investors; these funds were never invested in the products sold; instead, Mr. Samson used them to pay the line of credit of Les services financiers RSL inc., of which he is the director, president and majority shareholder, or to make interest payments to investors or reimburse them;
  • The possible existence of a Ponzi scheme: Réal Samson used the funds from new investors to reimburse or pay interest to other investors;
  • When investors requested reimbursement, Mr. Samson allegedly attempted to deceive them by making misrepresentations, claiming that he was in discussions with the AMF with respect to the distributions;
  • The risk that Réal Samson and his spouse would disappear with substantial funds and that investors would not be reimbursed.

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

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