Archive | Norbourg affair: The fall of financier Vincent Lacroix
In January 2008, Vincent Lacroix was found guilty of the largest financial fraud recorded in Canada with the Norbourg affair.
Fifteen years ago, on January 28, 2008, Vincent Lacroix went to prison after a trial where he was found guilty of financial fraud on an unprecedented scale in Quebec. Reports from our archives trace the thread of the Norbourg affair, his asset management firm which cheated thousands of investors.
It was on August 25, 2005 that the financial scandal came to light. The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) and the RCMP are carrying out a series of searches at the various offices of the Norbourg group located in Montreal, Quebec and Toronto, as well as at the residence of Vincent Lacroix.
The president and founder of Norbourg is suspected of having embezzled 70 million dollars for personal purposes. A financial fraud that would affect nearly 10,000 investors.
Reports by Alexis Deschênes and Jean-Sébastien Cloutier on the reactions to the searches at Norbourg by investors and the financial community. The news bulletin is presented by Josée Thibeault.
The day after the searches, on August 26, Vincent Lacroix publishes a press release assuring that he intends to cooperate fully with the investigators. This is what we learn from the Téléjournal hosted by Josée Thibeault.
As for savers who had entrusted their savings to Norbourg, they are already gathering to bring a class action.
The two investors that journalist Alexis Deschênes meets ask to testify face to face covered. Still in shock, they want to give themselves a plan of attack to channel their anger, but they also feel great shame for what happened to them.
Yet they have no reason to be ashamed, argues the journalist. An average investor would not have been able to detect financial fraud such as that uncovered at Norbourg. Only the AMF had access to the information that could help find out what was going on.
The allegations against Vincent Lacroix also strongly shake the financial community, recounts the journalist Jean-Sébastien Cloutier in a second report.
Vincent Lacroix was perceived as a young financial executive who bet a lot on building his business and who wanted to grow it very quickly, says corporate director Michel Nadeau.
We expected maybe he would have some difficulties in management, but that he is involved in what appears to be a fraud is a great astonishment to many people in Montreal financial circles.
Excerpt from an interview by journalist Yvan Lamontagne with Vincent Lacroix presented as part of the news bulletin hosted by Josée Thibeault.
Vincent Lacroix admits mistakes were made, host Josée Thibeault told the Téléjournal of August 28, 2005.
A few days after the events, the president of Norbourg granted an interview to journalist Yvan Lamontagne.
What happened this week surprised everyone, expresses Vincent Lacroix from the outset. It's a week that I'm not about to forget, Mr. Lamontagne.
Called to explain what could be the worst financial scandal Quebec has ever known, President de Norbourg does not want to go too far. I will tell you that in due course, I look forward to an update on this procedure, he says.
Vincent Lacroix is urging people to stay calm in what he describes as an overstated media turmoil. Despite this bombshell on his business, Norbourg's 400 representatives remain available to serve the financial group's 40,000 clients, he maintains.
The president of Norbourg also ensures that he collaborates with Ernst & ; Young, the Syndic of Norbourg.
Two months later, on October 13, 2005, he put his company and its satellite companies into bankruptcy. Ernst & Young takes care of the liquidation of the assets. In the eyes of the former president of the mutual fund and investment firm, this is the best way to protect the interests of investors and creditors.
After failing when his assets were unfrozen, he himself had his property seized by the Quebec tax authorities, to which we learned on October 18, 2005 that he owed nearly $19 million.
Report by journalist Catherine Kovacs on the first day of the civil trial of Vincent Lacroix in the Norbourg case. The news bulletin is presented by Bernard Derome.
“This is considerable evidence. More than 1,500 boxes of documents the AMF filed today against former Norbourg boss Vincent Lacroix on the first day of his civil trial. »
— Host Bernard Derome
On May 14, 2007, the Norbourg affair was brought before the courts, as shown in this report on Téléjournal. Vincent Lacroix did everything to delay his trial , mentions journalist Catherine Kovacs, but in the end, he said he was freed to finally begin.
Claiming to be completely broke, Vincent Lacroix intends to defend himself without a lawyer. During the winter of 2007, he asked three times to be defended by legal aid, but his requests were rejected.
On the side of the AMF, c It was the forensic accountant François Fillion who put together the evidence with a dozen investigators. The team met 70 witnesses and examined 27 bank accounts in the name of Vincent Lacroix and Norbourg in 4 different banks, details the journalist.
Catherine Kovacs also returns in her report on the genesis of this affair which began on October 28, 2004 with an initial administrative investigation by the AMF into Norbourg's accounts.
Interrogated for the first time in April 2005, the former vice-president of finance at Norbourg had finally admitted not having told the truth, revealing to the AMF that certain documents were false. Éric Asselin had at the same time entrusted himself to the RCMP in order to be promised complete immunity before the courts.
In this criminal trial before judge alone, Vincent Lacroix thus faces 51 counts for violations of the Quebec Securities Act.
The AMF wants let this trial be an example and recommend maximum sentences against Vincent Lacroix, who is concretely accused of having embezzled funds and submitted false documents to the authorities, explains journalist Catherine Kovacs.
Report by journalist Catherine Kovacs during the sentencing of Vincent Lacroix in court. The news bulletin is presented by Bernard Derome.
On January 28, 2008, after a trial lasting nearly 50 days, Vincent Lacroix received his sentence from the Court of Quebec. Journalist Catherine Kovacs describes this day at Téléjournal hosted by news anchor Bernard Derome.
Vincent Lacroix receives a sentence of 12 years less a day for having diverted investors' money to personal purposes. He will also have to pay a fine of 255,000 dollars. This is the most severe sentence to date for this kind of crime, says the journalist.
The sentence is well received by the cheated investors, who even applaud Judge Leblond. The Norbourg story does not end today, declared Vincent Lacroix before his sentencing.
I now hope that x27;there is going to be a criminal prosecution, says one of his victims. If it can take another ten years, it will be a deterrent.
Journalist Isabelle Richer recounts the first day of Vincent Lacroix's criminal trial, which ended in a guilty plea. The news bulletin is presented by Céline Galipeau.
September 21, 2009, the second trial of Vincent Lacroix begins, this time for the criminal. As evidenced by the Téléjournalhosted by Céline Galipeau that evening, the former president of Norbourg created a surprise this time by admitting his guilt for the 200 charges against him.
Vincent Lacroix had no hope of being acquitted. The evidence gathered against him was overwhelming, says journalist Isabelle Richer in her report.
By pleading guilty to all the charges brought against him by the RCMP, Vincent Lacroix avoids a long trial of four months before a jury. He is also heading to prison without testifying against the five co-defendants in this case.
However, there is no agreement between the defense and the Crown on the sentence to be imposed for this fraud, the largest recorded in Canada. On October 9, 2009, Judge Wagner imposed a sentence of 13 years out of the maximum of 14 years provided for in the Criminal Code.
Report by journalist Isabelle Richer on the parole of Vincent Lacroix. The newscast is hosted by Céline Galipeau.
Fallen financier Vincent Lacroix has regained some freedom today, news anchor Céline Galipeau announces to Téléjournal of January 27, 2011.
Vincent Lacroix was released from prison one-sixth of his sentence. Early parole that is automatic for offenders with no prior history who commit a non-violent crime, explains journalist Isabelle Richer in her report.
One hour after leaving the Sainte-Penitentiary Anne-des-Plaines, he is greeted by a horde of journalists in front of his halfway house located in the southwest of Montreal. Vincent Lacroix is supposed to live there for the next three years. He is also required to participate in community work for six months.
The ex-prisoner wanted to go back to school, but the National Commission for Correctional Services refused him this project, preferring that he tries to acquire values centered on a contribution to society.
Vincent Lacroix was granted full parole in 2014. As far as the field of finance, he is not allowed to work there until the actual end of his sentence, in 2026.
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