Montréal - The Autorité des marchés financiers (the AMF) has launched penal proceedings against Marc Da Costa and is filing 40 charges against him, in addition to seeking fines totalling $240,000. The AMF also filed six charges against Équicapital and 10 charges against Parklane. Fines totalling $160,000 are also being sought from these two companies.

In this matter, Mark Da Costa solicited several clients to invest in Équicapital and Parklane, two companies offering a donation program with larger tax deductions than traditional donations. According to the facts, this was a ruse designed to illegally obtain tax benefits through charitable donations.

Under the program, a small amount of money could be invested in Équicapital or Parklane which then donated the money to a fictitious foundation on behalf of the investors. Investors subsequently received an official income tax receipt for a charitable donation much higher than the donation made on their behalf.

These investments are considered investment contracts under the Securities Act.

A total of nearly $219,000 was invested in these two companies by 16 investors.

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

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