Decisions and Freeze and cease trade orders Securities
Montréal – At the request of the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), the Bureau de décision et de révision en valeurs mobilières (BDRVM) issued an order on July 31, 2008 prohibiting Evolution Market Group Inc., Finanzas Forex, Philippe Kougioumoutzakis and Mohamed Megdoud from carrying on any activity, directly or indirectly, in respect of a transaction in securities, in particular soliciting Québec consumers to invest in the foreign exchange market. The BDRVM also prohibited these firms and individuals from carrying on any activity, directly or indirectly, as a securities adviser within the meaning of the Securities Act (the "Act").
In its decision, the BDRVM also ordered the respondents to close down the following websites: www.finanzasforex.com, www.finanzasforex.bz, www.emicorp.ws and www.aramco.ws.
The AMF believed that urgent action was required because the individuals and/or firms concerned conducted highly organized and sophisticated operations, with international ramifications, and promised incredible returns while disregarding the most basic rules of the Act.
In its decision, the BDRVM stated that it was particularly concerned about the following allegations:
- Investments were solicited in Québec by firms that did not file a prospectus with the AMF or obtain a receipt for a prospectus or a prospectus exemption;
- Finanzas Forex, Philippe Kougioumoutzakis and Mohamed Megdoud acted as securities dealers, advisers or representatives thereof without being registered with the AMF;
- Members of Finanzas Forex are strongly encouraged to recruit and refer new investors through such incentives as bonuses, trips and luxury cars;
- The interest rates offered are very high;
- On-line information sessions about the investments proposed by the respondents are held every Wednesday evening;
- The respondents' websites were still active at the time of the hearing with respect to this order request;
- Regulators in Panama, Spain, Austria and France have issued warnings about Evolution Market Group Inc. and Finanzas Forex;
- A brief search has identified approximately 10 other ads or websites registered by Québec residents soliciting the public, as did www.finanzasforex.bz, www.emicorp.ws and www.aramco.ws, to invest in FOREX through Finanzas Forex.
On July 29, 2008, the AMF issued a warning with the following advice for investors:
- Contact the AMF Information Centre to determine whether a firm is authorized to offer investments to the public and an individual recommending investments is licensed to practice in Québec;
- Ask for written confirmation of information provided orally;
- Be on guard when strangers promise investment returns that are too good to be true.
More information is available in Watch out for securities fraud, available on the AMF website. This brochure helps consumers recognize several types of illegal activity and gives a few tips for being on the lookout for con artists.
If you believe you were the victim of fraud, contact the AMF Information Centre.
The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec’s financial sector.
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Christian Barrette: (514) 940-2176
Québec City: 418-525-0337