Montréal - The Autorité des marchés financiers (the AMF) has launched penal proceedings in the judicial district of Québec City against Micro-Prêts inc. and its president, Dominic Lacroix, and is seeking fines totalling $35,000.

More specifically, the AMF accuses them of acting illegally as a securities dealer, aiding in making distributions without a prospectus, and making misrepresentations in respect of a transaction in securities by stating on the Micro-Prêts inc. website that the investments offered were fully guaranteed by the CDIC up to $100,000.

On July 15, 2011, at the request of the AMF, the Bureau de décision et de révision (the Bureau) issued a decision ordering Micro-Prêts inc. and two of its shareholders and officers, Dominic Lacroix and Marc-Olivier Boucher, to cease any activity in respect of a transaction in securities. The Bureau also froze the funds entrusted or belonging to the company.

On November 7, 2011, the Bureau took note of an undertaking in which Dominic Lacroix, Marc-Olivier Boucher and Micro-Prêts inc. agreed to cease all activities in respect of transactions in securities carried out directly, indirectly or via the Internet, except those for personal purposes. In addition, they refunded the only investor identified during the investigation who had responded to their offer. The Bureau therefore lifted the July 2011 freeze and cease trade orders, given that Micro-Prêts inc. also undertook to limit its activities to those permitted under its money lender permit issued by the Office de la protection du consommateur.

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

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