Montréal – Further to the internal investigation it has conducted in the past few months, the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) has concluded that AMF employees were in contact with certain members of Norbourg management, including Vincent Lacroix. The internal investigation has established that the president of Norbourg, Mr. Lacroix, set up a ploy with the assistance of his staff in an attempt to bribe an AMF employee. The employee in question categorically refused any offers made by Mr. Lacroix.
The AMF considers this attempt at corrupting one of its employees to be a serious matter. It will be transferring its file to the Integrated Market Enforcement Team (IMET) so that appropriate action may be taken. The AMF is co-operating fully in the investigation being conducted by the IMET.
Based on its internal investigation, the AMF was able to conclude that neither its integrity nor its ability to conduct a comprehensive and independent investigation was compromised. Although a few AMF employees did in fact have contacts with a Norbourg employee, no information concerning the investigation was relayed. None of the employees concerned are assigned to the Norbourg matter.
Nonetheless, the AMF has concluded that some employees were careless and displayed a lack of judgment. It believes that the conduct of its employees must be above reproach, given the role they play in overseeing the financial markets.
The AMF is therefore taking steps to ensure that such situations are avoided in the future. Activities intended to enhance awareness in this regard are being planned. In addition, disciplinary sanctions have been imposed, and eight employees have been suspended for periods varying from five days to three months.
These sanctions highlight the importance of remaining independent vis-à-vis firms and representatives subject to AMF oversight.
Finally, the AMF wishes to stress that, despite the many attempts at distraction and interference, it continues to make every effort to protect the interests of defrauded investors. It remains tireless in its efforts to maximize the funds recovered on their behalf.
The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec's financial sector.
— 30 —
Philippe Roy (514) 940-2176
Issuers, dealers, advisers and representatives: (877) 525-0337, choose option 9 for English, then 1 for industry
Consumers and investors: (877) 525-0337, choose option 9 for English, then 8 for consumers