Norbourg - AMF launches suit for benefit of investors


Montréal – The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) today launched a suit claiming over $84 million from Vincent Lacroix for the losses incurred by investors and $10 million in punitive damages. AMF resources and expertise will thus be available to recover funds on behalf of investors.

In its suit, the AMF refers to misappropriation of funds and extensive misrepresentations. More specifically, the AMF noted that Vincent Lacroix misappropriated Norbourg and Evolution funds totalling over $84 million for the benefit of companies in the Norbourg group. Some $18 million of these funds was used for his own personal benefit.

On September 30, 2005, the report of the provisional administrator of the Norbourg and Evolution funds revealed a discrepancy in the amount of $130 million between the financial statements of the Norbourg group and the assets under management held in custody. At this stage, the $84 million represents the portion that would have been misappropriated for the benefit of Vincent Lacroix, his relatives and his companies.

The suit is one of several other recourses that the AMF will launch as its ongoing investigation produces strong and sufficient evidence.

Because of the substance of the allegations, the AMF is also co-operating with the Integrated Market Enforcement Team (IMET) of Montréal, which has undertaken a criminal investigation in this matter. The purpose of the investigation is to validate the allegations, identify the perpetrators in the matter and determine whether legal proceedings should be launched against them.

Liquidation of Norbourg and Evolution funds
Moreover, the Bureau de decision et de revision en valeurs mobilières (BDRVM) today ruled on the request filed by the AMF on October 14, 2005. In its decision, the BDRVM recommended that the Finance Minister order the liquidation of the assets of the Evolution and Norbourg families of funds.

In light of the work performed and the disbursements incurred to date, the BDRVM further recommended the appointment of Ernst & Young as the liquidator of the assets of the Evolution and Norbourg funds.

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

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