Montréal - Two purported advisers and dealers, Justin Maisonneuve-Strasbourg carrying on business as Justin Jonathan Service Financier and Micael Girard, district manager, have been ordered to cease the illegal activities they have been conducting on the Internet and through Facebook.
Facts uncovered by the investigation
The AMF's investigation to date shows that Justin Maisonneuve-Strasbourg, Justin Jonathan Service Financier and Micael Girard engaged in activities as derivatives advisers and activities related to trading in derivatives without being registered with or authorized by the AMF, contrary to what is stated on the company's website and in documents likely forged by Justin Maisonneuve-Strasbourg which were given to an investor to make him believe he was licenced.
Through a website and Facebook accounts, the respondents encouraged consumers to invest in derivatives by promising extraordinary returns of up to double the amount invested and guaranteed profits. The allegations against them mainly involve binary options. Binary options are a type of option where the investor faces two possible outcomes when his investment matures: either he receives a pre-determined cash payout (sometimes called the "premium") or he loses his investment, hence the term "all or nothing" options. Binary options are often traded in the currency markets. The AMF cautioned investors about this type of approach in 2013.
Justin Maisonneuve-Strasbourg also allegedly made a distribution of $75,000 of securities of the entity Justin Jonathan Service Financier to a young acquaintance who had recently inherited money, leading him to believe that he was buying 15% of the shares of Justin Jonathan Service Financier.
Orders issued against respondents
To protect investors, on July 17, 2014 the Bureau de décision et de révision ("Bureau") issued interim freeze orders at the AMF's request against Justin Maisonneuve-Strasbourg and Justin Jonathan Service Financier since they had attempted to make withdrawals from the bank account in which the investors' money had been deposited. As a result of the order, the sums held in the bank accounts of Justin Maisonneuve-Strasbourg and Justin Jonathan Service Financier are frozen and they are prevented from disposing of funds, securities or other assets.
On July 25, 2014, the Bureau upheld the freeze orders mentioned above and prohibited Justin Maisonneuve-Strasbourg, Justin Jonathan Service Financier and Micael Girard from acting as a derivatives adviser and engaging in activities for the purpose of trading in derivatives, including activities as a dealer. The Bureau also prohibited Justin Maisonneuve-Strasbourg and Justin Jonathan Service Financier from carrying on business as an adviser and engaging in activities for the purpose of trading in any form of investment described in section 1 of the Securities Act, including activities as a dealer. Lastly, the Bureau ordered the removal of any publication or solicitation issued or conducted via the Internet or otherwise and the closure of the website www.justinjonathanservicefinancier.com and any similar website.
If you believe that you have been the target of one of Justin Maisonneuve-Strasbourg's schemes, we encourage you to contact an agent at our Information Centre.
Protect yourself against this type of approach
Although the Internet and social media offer plenty of information that can be useful to investors, they can also be fertile ground for fraudsters. Use them with caution and protect yourself by testing your vulnerability.
Whether the person offering you an investment is someone you know or not, you should always apply these 5 simple steps to help you determine possible fraud.
The Autorité des marchés financiers (the "AMF") is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec's financial sector.
- 30 -
Sylvain Théberge: 514-940-2176