The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), the regulatory and oversight body for Québec’s financial industry, has launched penal proceedings against Richard Longpré for violations in connection with illegal distribution. The AMF files 133 charges against Longpré and is seeking fines totaling $1,305,000 and a prison term.
The AMF accuses Longpré of acting illegally as a securities dealer on 61 occasions and of making illegal distributions on 61 occasions. The AMF also accuses him of making misrepresentations to investors on 11 occasions by declaring that the investments he was proposing were very safe and involved no risk, although they pertained to the purchase of shares.
An AMF investigation revealed that the actions of Longpré, a former representative in insurance of persons, group insurance of persons as well as group savings plan brokerage, resulted in the loss of $1,320,000 by 33 investors between 1998 and 2009. He reimbursed some investors a total of $211,000.
Drawing on the relationship of trust he established with his clients, Longpré proposed to some clients that they lend him money so that he could invest the funds on their behalf, letting them believe that he had privileged access for purchasing shares in various oil companies. He also proposed to other clients that they lend him money to purchase more powerful computers so he could better “manage” the assets of his clients. In exchange, Longpré promised an annual return of 8% and issued term notes to the lenders.
The penalties being sought against Richard Longpré include fines that are three times the minimum amounts set out in the Securities Act. In seeking these penalties, namely, a prison term and over $1.3 million in fines, the AMF cites various aggravating factors, including the duration of the violations, the misappropriation of funds, breach of trust and the consequences on victims whose financial position he was familiar with.
Richard Longpré was permanently struck off the roll by the Chambre de la sécurité financière in October 2010.