Montréal - On August 27, 2012, Justice of the Peace Louise Gallant ratified the parties' joint recommendation to fine Michel L'Italien $80,000 for his involvement in the Norshield matter. In April 2012, Michel L'Italien pleaded guilty to eight charges, including seven counts for aiding in making distributions without a prospectus and one count for making a misrepresentation in respect of a transaction in a security.
In her decision, Justice Gallant took into account several aggravating factors, such as the fact that Mr. L'Italien was registered as a mutual fund dealer at the time of the offences and that he took advantage of investors' vulnerability. She noted that some investors even borrowed money to invest in the products offered by Mr. L'Italien and that the offences were committed repeatedly.
This is not the first time Michel L'Italien has been fined for offences under the Securities Act. In March 2010 he pleaded guilty to 102 charges in the Water Bank of America matter in which some 30 residents from the North Shore were swindled. Mr. L'Italien was fined $500,000 for those offences. He was also involved in freeze and cease trade orders issued in 2007 relating to the Water Bank of America matter.
René Joubert found guilty
On August 16, 2012, Justice of the Peace Sylvie Desmeules, of the Court of Québec for the district of Saint-François, found René Joubert guilty of 60 charges brought against him by the Autorité des marchés financiers (the "AMF") associated with the illegal distribution of products related to Norshield.
The AMF alleged that René Joubert, a financial planner and Vice-President of Groupe Futur at the time of the alleged wrongdoing, illegally acted as a securities dealer (25 counts), aided Balanced Return Fund and Olympus International Preferred Fund Ltd. in making illegal distributions (25 counts) and made misrepresentations to investors, and in particular that the investment was guaranteed (10 counts).
Investors lost $1.2 million in this matter.
Representations about the sentence to be imposed on Mr. Joubert have been postponed to a later date.
In March 2010, the AMF launched eleven suits tied to the illegal sale of investment vehicles related to Norshield. So far, 10 representatives have been found guilty (Michel L'Italien, Éric Couture Respondent Éric Couture should not be confused with the mutual fund dealer and insurance of persons representative Éric Couture registered under number NRD 1177191 or with the mutual fund dealer and insurance of persons representative Éric Couture registered under number NRD 1516731, or with the mutual fund dealer representative Éric Couture registered under number NRD 2655441, or with the advising representative of a portfolio manager Éric Couture registered under number NRD 1516951, or with the investment dealer and derivatives dealer representative Éric Couture registered under number NRD 66 531, Christophe Balayer, William Marston, René Proteau, Francesco Iacono, Yves Tardif, Marc-André Froment, Claude Tardif Respondent Claude Tardif should not be confused with the dealing representative (investment dealer) and derivatives representative Claude Tardif registered under number NRD 1590761, or with the mutual fund dealer and insurance of persons representative Claude Tardif registered under number NRD 1616271. and René Joubert) and $403,500 in fines have been charged.
The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec's financial sector.
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