Michel Maheux guilty of contempt of court

Decisions and Freeze and cease trade orders Securities

Montréal – In a decision handed down on April 12, 2007, Mr. Justice Rodolphe Bilodeau of the Superior Court (district of Montréal) declared Michel Maheux guilty of contempt of court for violating a permanent injunction order issued by Mr. Justice Jocelyn Verrier of the Superior Court (district of Richelieu) on October 11, 2005.

In his decision of October 11, 2005, Judge Verrier ordered the Coopérative de producteurs de bois précieux Québec Forestales (“Québec Forestales”) and Michel Maheux, in particular to:

  • Cease and refrain from distributing preferred units of Québec Forestales, investment contracts or other forms of investment contemplated in section 1 of the Securities Act (the “Act”), through any channels, including correspondence and websites.

However, as demonstrated by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), Mr. Maheux used websites to distribute forms of investment contemplated in section 1 of the Act. Judge Bilodeau concluded that Mr. Maheux had not complied with the permanent injunction order. Sentencing representations are scheduled for June 14, 2007. The AMF has already notified Judge Bilodeau that it will be seeking a prison term, given that the matter involves a repeat offence.

Mr. Maheux was found guilty of contempt of court on March 22, 2005 in connection with the same matter. Mr. Maheux was found guilty on 74 counts filed against him by the AMF and was ordered to pay a fine totalling $222,000, plus costs. He was accused of violating the Act for assisting, by act or omission:

  • Québec Forestales with contravening a decision of the Commission des valeurs mobilières du Québec;
  • Québec Forestales with making a misrepresentation regarding a securities transaction by incorrectly stating during the distribution of its preferred units that the units qualified for the cooperative investment plan.

The decision was maintained on appeal.

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

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