Fraud in Classifieds Ads - Normand Bouchard found guilty


Montréal - On January 18, 2011, Judge Suzanne Coupal of the Court of Québec (Criminal and Penal Division), district of Montréal, found Normand Bouchard guilty of illegally acting as a securities adviser without being registered as such with the Autorité des marchés financiers (the AMF) on 31 occasions.

More specifically, Normand Bouchard was accused of managing securities portfolios without having a permit to provide such services. The victims, who were for the most part experiencing personal difficulties and were attracted by the ability to quickly access money, met with Normand Bouchard after reading a classified ad, usually published in a local newspaper. It often only took one meeting for the respondent to establish a trust relationship with the victim. The victim quickly opened an on-line brokerage account and sent information to Normand Bouchard that allowed him to use money saved in a locked-in retirement account or pension fund to make investments. Most of the victims, who knew little or nothing about the stock market, lost all their savings.

Hearings on the sentence to be imposed on Normand Bouchard will be held on February 24, 2011.

Two cease trade orders had already been issued against Normand Bouchard. The first was issued in June 2007 and the second, in the matter of Carrefour, was issued in December 2009.

Fraud in Classified Ads - Be Careful!

The AMF reminds consumers to beware of this type of approach and that withdrawals from your RRSP, LIRA or pension funds are fully taxable. The AMF also reminds you that you should never provide access to your account or reveal your password to a stranger. You should make sure the representative and firm you are dealing with are registered with the AMF and never take for granted that the person you are dealing with is telling the truth. When it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is!

Many other tips on avoiding fraud are available on the AMF website in the Prevent fraud section.

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

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