AMF takes action to stop illegal distribution scheme

Decisions and Freeze and cease trade orders

Montréal - On March 7, 2014, at the request of the Autorité des marchés financiers ("AMF"), the Bureau de décision et de révision (the "Bureau") issued ex parte freeze and cease trade orders as well as an order to cease acting as an adviser against Nubia Investments Inc., Georges Pierre Jr. and Serge St-Martin. They are alleged to have solicited members of a religious community and their relatives regarding the distribution of a form of investment governed by the Securities Act as part of what appears to be a real estate investment ploy.

According to the Bureau, the evidence presented by the AMF at the hearing reveals that Nubia Investments, Georges Pierre Jr. and Serge St-Martin distributed shares or investment contracts to 30 or so investors, and did so without a prospectus approved by the AMF. As well, the evidence shows that these persons acted as securities dealers and advisers without being registered as such with the AMF.

Georges Pierre Jr. and Serge St-Martin apparently solicited members of a religious community and their relatives for the purpose of making real estate transactions with Nubia Investments. Investors gave the company authorization to debit their account automatically on a monthly basis.

The evidence submitted by the AMF has given rise to serious concerns requiring immediate action. These concerns include:

  • Nubia Investments does not seem to own any buildings even though the investment at issue in this matter was intended to enable the company to set up a building inventory;
  • Georges Pierre Jr., whose father is a pastor, seems to be betraying the confidence of members of a religious community;
  • The funds handed over by investors are being deposited into accounts belonging to Georges Pierre Jr., doing business under various corporate names, and are subsequently transferred to other accounts belonging to Georges Pierre Jr. or his wife;
  • At the time of the hearing, Nubia Investments was still collecting funds on a monthly basis from the accounts of certain investors.

More specifically, the Bureau has ordered Nubia Investments Inc., Serge St-Martin and Georges Pierre Jr. (doing business under the names Gestion financière Nubia, Groupe Georges Pierre, Oasis Solutions, Prélèvements Plus, Club Coupons, Club financier Quattro and Services financiers Maestro1) to cease any activity in respect of a transaction in securities and ordered them to cease acting as a securities adviser. As well, it ordered Georges Pierre Jr. (doing business under the above-mentioned names) and his wife not to dispose of any funds, securities or other assets in their possession.

Preventing fraud
The AMF reminds investors of the importance of adopting healthy habits, in particular by asking five questions (5 bonnes questions This link will open in a new window - in French only) that can help them make sound financial and investment decisions.

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

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1The respondent Services financiers Maestro should not be confused with Groupe financier Maestro Inc., which holds a registration in insurance of persons, group insurance of persons and financial planning (509 809).