Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Quebecers Cited in Alleged Virtual Currency Scam Now Facing U.S. Charges

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Quebecers Cited in Alleged Virtual Currency Scam Now Facing U.S. Charges

Article excerpt

Quebecers cited in alleged virtual currency scam


American authorities have frozen the assets of two Quebecers who allegedly were involved in a virtual currency scam that raised $15 million from investors by falsely promising a 13-fold profit in less than a month.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission obtained an emergency court order Monday as a complaint was filed in Brooklyn, N.Y., against Dominic Lacroix, 35, his company PlexCorps and his partner, Sabrina Paradis-Royer, 26.

"Lacroix and Paradis-Royer misappropriated investor funds and engaged in other deceptive acts relating to investments in the PlexCoin token," the filing reads.

The alleged activities began this past August.

This week's developments come amid a separate inquiry in Quebec, where a spokesman for the province's securities regulator says more than $10 million was invested over the same time frame.

"We are very scared about what could happen for these investors (and) that's why we're inviting them to stop investing in that company," Autorite des marches financiers spokesman Sylvain Theberge said Tuesday.

Attempts to reach PlexCorps or Lacroix through a lawyer were unsuccessful.

According to U.S. documents, the millions were gathered "through materially false and misleading statements made by Lacroix individually and through entities Lacroix controls."

The U.S. securities commission described Lacroix as a recidivist violator of Quebec securities laws. It alleges he and PlexCorps marketed and sold securities dubbed PlexCoin through the internet to investors in the United States and abroad without registering with U.S. authorities or disclosing his past infractions.

The Quebec company falsely claimed to operate from Singapore with a staff of experts worldwide and promised what the U.S. securities commission called "outlandish rewards" of 1,354 per cent profit in less than 29 days.

In fact, authorities allege the investments raised actually funded Lacroix and Paradis-Royer's expenses, including home decor projects.

The U.S. court filing said the investment pushed ahead despite Quebec's securities regulator obtaining an injunction to stop the initial coin offering in July. …

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