Digital World Financial - 12-month prison term and $660,000 fine imposed on Joseph Simon Lacroix

Decisions and Freeze and cease trade orders Securities

Montréal – On September 17, 2010, Judge Jean-Pierre Boyer of the Court of Québec, district of Montréal, imposed a 12-month prison term and fines totalling $660,000 on Joseph Simon Lacroix, the sole director of Digital World Financial inc., who was found guilty of illegal distribution.

Joseph Simon Lacroix was found guilty of aiding, on 44 occasions between March 2001 and September 2004, Digital World Financial inc. with the distribution of promissory notes and loan certificates, securities distributed without a prospectus approved by the Commission des valeurs mobilières du Québec.

The Court imposed fines that are triple the minimum fines set out under law as well as a prison term. The judge pointed to several aggravating factors in connection with this matter, including the objective and subjective severity of the offences, the amounts at issue, and the number of distributions and victims.

Investors, mainly seniors, believed they were investing in a guaranteed investment certificate, whereas they were investing in the potential expansion of Digital World Financial Inc. As they were not given any detailed written information and they did not have access to a duly approved prospectus, they were unable to fully understand the risk related to their investments and could therefore not make a sound investment decision.

Advice to investors

The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) reminds investors that it has several tools available to assist them in making sound investment choices, such as the guide designed especially for seniors Red-flagging financial fraud (pdf - 995 KB)This link will open in a new windowUpdated on June 17, 2022. This publication contains the following advice:

  • Ensure that the person offering you the investment is registered with the AMF, as required. Consult the on-line register or call the AMF Information Centre;
  • Ask for a detailed brochure on the investment being offered that provides all information in writing;
  • Never buy under pressure. Investing is an important decision that is worth thinking about.

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

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