Securities Decisions and Freeze and cease trade orders

Montréal – Judge Jean-Guy Dubois of the Superior Court of Québec, district of Richelieu, allowed the request filed by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) and today condemned Michel Maheux to ten days in prison. As well, Mr. Maheux and the Coopérative de producteurs de bois précieux Québec Forestales were fined $4,500 and $250 respectively.

Expressing satisfaction with the ruling, AMF President and CEO Jean St-Gelais noted that the sentence, a first in Québec, reflects the AMF’s determination to enforce financial regulations in Québec more strictly.

On October 15, 2003, the Commission des valeurs mobilières du Québec (Commission) had ordered Québec Forestales not to distribute investment contracts or any other form of investment provided for in section 1 of the Québec Securities Act. The Commission had also denied the exemption provided for in subparagraph 5, section 3 of the Act enabling a cooperative to distribute preferred shares, subject to certain conditions.

In light of the respondents’ refusal to comply with the order, the AMF obtained an interlocutory injunction on August 13, 2004 to ensure compliance with the decision of October 15, 2003 and shut down their website.

On November 26, 2004, Judge Dubois declared Mr. Maheux and Coopérative de producteurs de bois précieux Québec Forestales to be in contempt of court. In his ruling, the Judge stated that the respondents “[translation] violated the order dated August 10, 2004, in a voluntary and deliberate manner and without any valid excuse, by failing to shut down the site as stipulated in the order.”

To read the press releases already published in this matter, please consult the AMF website.

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

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