Montréal - The Autorité des marchés financiers (the "AMF") announced today that it recently launched penal proceedings relating to the operation of the Bureau de change Montréal-Nord, a money services business that is operating without a licence issued by the AMF, and that it has also filed a motion for an injunction to put a stop to its activities.

Penal proceedings
Penal proceedings have been launched in the judicial district of Montréal against Carmelina Salvatore Gutta, Francesco Gutta, Carmelo Gutta and 9207-7833 Québec inc. (carrying on business as Bureau de change Montréal-Nord) for various offences related to the operation of a money services business without a licence issued by the AMF. Under the Money-Services Businesses Act, they face a minimum fine of $90,000 if found guilty of the charge.

More specifically, Carmelina Salvatore Gutta is facing three counts relating to the operation of the money services business which involved currency exchange transactions for remuneration without a licence issued by the AMF. Carmelina Salvatore Gutta is facing a minimum fine of $45,000. Francesco Gutta, Carmelo Gutta and 9207-7833 Québec inc. are each facing one count and could be fined a minimum of $15,000.

Application for an injunction
The AMF also recently filed a motion for an injunction in the Superior Court to compel these respondents as well as Giancarlo Gutta to stop operating a money services business without a licence issued by the AMF. A hearing date should be set during the next few weeks.

Money-Services Businesses Act
Since April 1, 2012, a business that offers any of the following services must hold a licence issued by the AMF: currency exchange, funds transfer, the issue or redemption of traveller's cheques, money orders or bank drafts, and cheque cashing. Since January 1, 2013, businesses that operate non-bank automated teller machines are also required to register with the AMF.

In addition to holding a licence issued by the AMF, businesses are required to meet certain obligations such as maintaining records and verifying the identity of customers. They are also subject to an AMF inspection program to ensure that they comply with the Act.

The AMF provides a register of money services businesses that are licensed to operate in Québec. Persons or entities that operate a money services business but are already governed by certain other laws (such as banks, financial services cooperatives and insurers) are not subject to the requirements of the Act.

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

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