Montréal – As part of the hearing for authorization to institute a class action represented by Me Jacques Larochelle, the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) has argued before Québec Superior Court Judge Jasmin that it fulfilled its obligations with respect to inspections and investigations in the Norbourg affair. The hearing is taking place concurrently with the recourse launched by the AMF on behalf of investors, and the AMF is seeking to unite the two recourses for their benefit.
The AMF argued that no reference was made at the hearings to any specific statutory obligation on the basis of which the court could conclude that the AMF was liable. As well, the AMF stated that it was through its efforts that the financial scandal was revealed, and this took place even before the AMF received any complaints from defrauded investors or information from the industry.
The AMF also pointed out that the role of ensuring the integrity of mutual funds is assigned by law to a number of parties, including senior executives, auditors and custodians. However, according to the AMF, the class action is confusing the responsibilities of the various parties involved in Norbourg operations with those of the AMF. The AMF considers it surprising and unjustified to be implicated in the class action along with the other defendants who were directly involved in Norbourg operations.
Upon uncovering wrongdoing committed in this affair, the AMF made every effort to terminate the fraud. The AMF took action to ensure a cessation of Norbourg operations and to safeguard its assets as well as to launch various recourses.
Finally, the AMF stressed that its top priority is to maximize the recovery of funds for distribution to defrauded investors as soon as possible. It aims to ensure that Vincent Lacroix and certain legal persons appear before the court without delay. As far as the AMF is concerned, although a number of recourses have been launched, it is important that a single hearing be held as soon as possible in respect of the evidence submitted as part of all recourses.
The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec’s financial sector.
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Frédéric Alberro (514) 940-2176
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