Montréal - On January 20, 2016, Judge Nathalie Fafard of the Court of Québec, district of Montréal, handed down an 18-month prison sentence and fines totalling $345,000 on lawyer Jean-Pierre Desmarais for various offences of the Securities Act in the matter of Fondation Fer de Lance.
On March 10, 2015, Jean-Pierre Desmarais was found guilty on 68 charges: 34 counts of aiding with an illegal distribution and 34 counts of illegally pursuing activities as a securities dealer.
In her decision, Judge Fafard also dismissed two motions for a stay of proceedings filed by Jean-Pierre Desmarais.
The Court described Mr. Desmarais as having a key role [Translation] "not only in the setting up of the project, because he is the co-founder of the foundation and helped prepare the contracts, but subsequently in its realization, since he accepted funds from investors which he then transferred to various accounts and used to purchase financial vehicles."
Judge Fafard also noted that Jean-Pierre Desmarais had [Translation] "breached these individuals' trust, not only by using the seriousness of his profession to help increase their sense of security, but also by taking on the role of custodian of the capital of the sums entrusted to him, a responsibility that was in fact unrealistic."
Jean-Pierre Desmarais appealed his guilty verdict on April 7, 2015.
In July 2009, the AMF obtained cease trade and freeze orders in this matter.
The Autorité des marchés financiers (the "AMF") is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec's financial sector.
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