PlexCoin ICO organizer Dominic Lacroix has been found in contempt of court in Quebec for violating a ruling that barred Lacroix and his associated companies from holding an initial coin offering in Quebec or soliciting investors from the Canadian province.
The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), Quebec’s chief financial regulator, announced in a statement that the Quebec Superior Court — the province’s highest trial court — had found Dominic Lacroix and an associated company, DL Innov inc, in contempt for violating an earlier court order related to the PlexCoin ICO.
In July, the AMF had issued orders prohibiting Lacroix and several associated companies from promoting “any form of investment” to investors in Quebec and operating an investment scheme from within the province, even if it was targeted solely at investors who did not live in Quebec. The order specifically mentioned PlexCoin, an ethereum-based token that markets itself as “the next cryptocurrency” and advertises the “potential profit” that investors will make by participating in the early stages of the now-concluded PlexCoin ICO.
In addition, the Financial Markets Tribunal (TMF) ordered PlexCoin to cease advertising on the internet — anecdotal accounts indicate the PlexCoin ICO had engaged in an aggressive Facebook ad campaign — close its Facebook accounts, shut down its websites or at least block IP addresses originating from Quebec, and publish the TMF order on the homepage of all associated websites.
When it became clear that Lacroix and PlexCoin did not intend to comply with the orders, the AMF issued a bulletin warning investors about the risk of investing in the ICO.
Then, in September, the TMF issued additional orders against Lacroix, associated companies, and another individual named Sabrina Paradis-Royer. Most notably, the orders prohibited them — as well as banks and third-party payment platforms — from disposing of “any funds, securities, or other property in their possession or entrusted to them”.
Now, Justice Marc Lesage of the Quebec Superior Court has found Lacroix and DL Innov inc. guilty of contempt of court for repeatedly violating these earlier orders. From the AMF announcement:
“In his decision, [Lesage] emphasized that the evidence filed by the AMF demonstrates beyond any doubt that Dominic Lacroix and DL Innov Inc., representatives and alter ego of PlexCorps and PlexCoin, continued to solicit and propose to investors, directly and indirectly, to invest in the purchase of PlexCoin, a virtual currency, after orders issued by the Administrative Court of Financial Markets preventing them from July 20, 2017.”
According to the announcement, a hearing will take place on November 14 to determine the penalty for the finding.
The PlexCoin saga is not Lacroix’s first run-in with the AMF. In June of this year, at the agency’s request, the TMF banned Lacroix, DL Innov inc., and several other related companies from “carrying out, directly or indirectly, any transaction in any form of investment” regulated by the Securities Act as punishment for breaching securities laws. The AMF also notes that Lacroix and one of his companies pled guilty to six counts of “illegal placement, illegal practice, and transmission of false or misleading information” in 2013 and were fined $25,000. PlexCoin was not named in either of these rulings.
Some statements in this article have been translated from French.
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