Norbourg ordered to cease activities; Assets frozen

Securities Decisions and Freeze and cease trade orders

Montréal – At the request of the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), the Bureau de décision et de révision en valeurs mobilières (BDRVM) has ordered Norbourg, gestion d’actifs inc., an unrestricted practice adviser, to cease all activities. Norbourg, which is headed by Vincent Lacroix, also acts as a securities adviser on behalf of the Évolution and Norbourg families of funds.

The AMF made the request to BDRVM with the following allegations:

  • A discrepancy in the amount of $70.7 million exists between the latest financial statements and the assets under management, with no valid justification.
  • Norbourg’s annual financial statements for the past three years contain misrepresentations.
  • Almost $69.8 million belonging to investors in the Évolution and Norbourg families of funds was embezzled through various schemes.
  • Documents were fabricated and falsified in connection with Norbourg operations and following AMF requests in the course of its investigation.

According to BDRVM’s decision, Norbourg gestion d’actifs and Mr. Lacroix no longer have the integrity required under the Securities Act.

Specifically, BDRVM has issued a freeze order on the bank accounts of Norbourg and of the companies related to Mr. Lacroix and it orders the companies not to dispose of their assets. As well, BDRVM has ordered the Évolution and Norbourg family of funds not to dispose of their assets to securitize assets under management. BDRVM has also ordered the suspension of the rights granted by registration to Norbourg and Mr. Lacroix as an adviser.

Finally, at the request of the AMF and further to BDRVM’s recommendation, the Minister of Finance has appointed a provisional administrator to administer the property of Norbourg and of certain companies related to Mr. Lacroix. The mandate of the provisional administrator is to clarify the situation by valuing the assets currently held in the funds and determining whether Norbourg operations can continue.

The orders for a freeze on assets, cessation of activity and suspension of rights are conservatory measures intended to protect investors.

The AMF is pursuing its investigation to determine whether to launch penal proceedings. Because of the seriousness of the allegations, the AMF is also cooperating 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 are warranted.

In this regard, the IMET and the AMF carried out several searches this morning in Montréal, Québec City and the Estrie region.

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

Created under An Act respecting the Autorité des marchés financiers, the Bureau de décision et de révision en valeurs mobilières is an administrative tribunal that exercises powers prescribed by the Securities Act.

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