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Quebec Regulator Pursues Art Scam

By Andrew Rickard | March 10 2015 01:58PM

The Quebec financial services regulator, the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), is taking legal action against a father and son in Saint-Sauveur it claims have offered pieces of art to the public as high-return investments.

According to the AMF, François Demers and Jean-François Demers, their gallery Les règles de l'art, as well as two employees Jean-Marc Picard and Pierre Major, illegally offered works of art as investments. They lured investors with projected annual returns of 10% to 20%.

The AMF has taken steps to have François Demers prohibited from acting as a financial intermediary. He is to cease trading investments, and will face civil penalties for illegally doing business and as a broker and adviser. The AMF has brought 52 charges against Demers, 12 against his son, and 38 against their company. More specifically the regulator has accused François Demers of offering securities without a prospectus, for which he faces a minimum fine of $5,000.

The AMF also notes that Jean-François Demers was fined $29,000 for illegal securities transactions in 2005, when he sold land or portions of land as short-term speculative investments.

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