Norbourg - AMF to provide some $31 million in compensation

Securities Organization

Montréal – Further to its investigation into the Norbourg affair and its analysis of claims from investors who incurred losses in this unfortunate matter, the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) will be providing compensation to approximately 925 investors for an estimated amount of $31 million.

The Fonds d’indemnisation des services financiers (financial services compensation fund) pays indemnities to victims of fraud committed in the course of the distribution of financial products and services. In the Norbourg affair, fraud was committed primarily in connection with the management of mutual funds, and this explains why the majority of the 9,200 victims are not eligible for compensation.

After informing defrauded investors that they could submit a claim to its compensation fund, the AMF conducted an analysis of the 1,987 claims received during the one-year legal eligibility period that ended on August 26, 2006.

AMF analyses revealed that, in certain instances, the scheme consisted of fraudulent tactics with respect to distribution. Indeed, Vincent Lacroix and the firms Norbourg Capital Inc. and Groupe Futur Inc. set up financial incentives for the sale of Norbourg funds.

Approximately 925 investors, or almost half of compensation claims submitted, could therefore receive an indemnity through the compensation fund. Fund rules stipulate a maximum amount of $200,000 per claim.

As for the other investors, they unfortunately cannot receive compensation through the compensation fund and their claims will be rejected. Based on the AMF’s analysis, there is no evidence that concrete measures were taken as part of fraudulent tactics with respect to distribution for the purpose of promoting the sale of the funds in dispute.

Moreover, the AMF will take appropriate measures against any person who may be liable toward investors with eligible claims for the purpose of recovering amounts paid to victims.

In the coming weeks, the AMF will be communicating its position in writing to the 1,987 investors who submitted a claim. In addition, the AMF will shortly be sending to all defrauded investors involved in the Norbourg affair an updated brochure outlining the events that took place from May 2006 to January 2007. The brochure will be posted on the AMF website.

AMF President and CEO Jean St-Gelais noted that other venues are available to recover some of the funds and a number of actions have been taken in this regard. “Whether they relate to distribution of the remaining funds, maximizing the realization of assets belonging to Vincent Lacroix and companies in the Norbourg group or the legal proceedings launched by the AMF on behalf of investors, our top priority is to recover the maximum amount of funds for distribution to defrauded investors,” said Mr. St-Gelais.

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

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