Decisions and Freeze and cease trade orders Securities
Montréal – In a decision handed down on January 19, 2010, Rocco Di Stefano, a former pastor as well as a former insurance representative and mutual funds dealer, was fined $138,000 for violations under the Securities Act.
Judge Gilles Garneau of the Court of Québec (Criminal and Penal Division), district of Montréal, issued the fines against Rocco Di Stefano.
In October 2009, Rocco Di Stefano pleaded guilty to 46 charges related to illegal distributions in connection with Zema Finances inc., Vision Management Services Ltd. and Eurovision Financial Services Ltd.
Rocco Di Stefano is still under a cease trade order and an order to cease acting as a securities adviser issued by the Bureau de décision et de révision en valeurs mobilières (BDRVM) in November 2007. In its decision, the BDRVM expressed concern about the fact that Mr. Di Stefano used his reputation as a former pastor to solicit investors, make illegal distributions and act illegally as a securities dealer.
Two additional penal proceedings were launched against Rocco Di Stefano by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) in March 2009 for similar violations in connection with Zema Finances inc. and Sodexin. The AMF is seeking fines totalling $441,000 in these proceedings.
This case should remind consumers of the importance of checking whether a person who proposes investment products has the necessary authorizations to do so, even when such person is a friend, acquaintance or relative. According to a recent survey by the Canadian Securities Administrators, Quebeckers are more likely to be approached with fraud schemes by persons with whom they have developed a sense of trust.
The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec's financial sector.
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Sylvain Théberge: (514) 940-2176
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