Stock Market Manipulation |  A new investigation into a pump and dump follower

Stock Market Manipulation | A new investigation into a pump and dump follower

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Sûreté du Québec and the Autorité des marchés financiers suspect that Jean-François Amyot has again engaged in stock market manipulation. They have been investigating him since 2017, when he was fined 11.2 million dollars for the same crime, he knew Press.

Posted at 5:00 am

Hugo Joncas

Hugo Joncas
Press

Vincent Larouche

Vincent Larouche
Press

The joint force conducted a search in March 2019 at his former home in the Saint-Laurent district. The name of the operation, Proyecto Oyat, refers to a grass with particularly deep roots.

However, even after five years of work, investigators are nowhere near success as they still struggle to access some of the seized evidence. They had to archive 252 emails, attachments and text messages discovered at that time without being able to consult them. The documents come from an email account bearing the name of his former attorney Bruce Taub.

In Canada, communications between a suspect and his or her legal representative are privileged and should not be accessible to the police.

Press revealed on Monday how the same lawyer, MY Taub served to register companies in the British Virgin Islands and Hong Kong for Amyot from 2016 to 2019, according to the Pandora Papers, the massive leak of offshore documents.


IMAGE PROVIDED BY THE INTERNATIONAL CONSORTIUM OF INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISTS

Passport of lawyer Bruce Taub, from Pandora Papers. It was in the file of an offshore company owned by Jean-François Amyot in Hong Kong, Bettencourt Friedman Capital Limited.

Today, the name of the Montreal lawyer also appears in the ongoing investigation into a new manipulation of the stock market.

“In his communications with certain people, Amyot refers to emails in which he would use an address linked to Mr.Y Bruce Taub,” prosecutors Han-Catherine Morin and Isabelle Bouvier explain, in a motion filed with the Superior Court on April 13. In this way, he would try to cover up the exchanges with his accomplices for the attorney-client privilege “in an unjustified manner.”

“False, replies Amyot, known at his house in Mont-Tremblant. He really is Bruce Taub’s Gmail. »

Another email address, an account with the encrypted email company Crypto Heaven, is found in the Pandora Papers, associated with both the lawyer and his former client.

  • In the Pandora Papers, a completed form for the registration of a new offshore company of Jean-François Amyot in the Bahamas mentions the address 53u9315@CryptoHeaven.com to contact him...

    IMAGE PROVIDED BY THE INTERNATIONAL CONSORTIUM OF INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISTS

    In the Pandora Papers, a completed form for the registration of a new offshore company of Jean-François Amyot in the Bahamas mentions the address 53u9315@CryptoHeaven.com to contact him…

  • …just like this document that mentions lawyer Bruce Taub, about another company of Jean-François Amyot in Hong Kong.

    IMAGE PROVIDED BY THE INTERNATIONAL CONSORTIUM OF INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISTS

    …just like this document that mentions lawyer Bruce Taub, about another company of Jean-François Amyot in Hong Kong.

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When Press asked the question, the lawyer did not say clearly if he had already used the Gmail address mentioned in court. “The email I use is this,” he wrote in a message from another account, his work address.

To get to the bottom, the prosecution asks the court to allow investigators to consult the 252 elements of the famous email account, initially canceled. On May 20, a judge approved a special protocol to examine them.

Syringes without needle…

As part of their investigation into Amyot, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have been interested in the Inolife company for five years, according to court information. This company then listed on the “Pink Sheets” market, American junk stocks that often trade for less than $1.

In 2016, a group of businessmen from Quebec bought the company. According to its press releases, it was later reoriented to market a syringe without a needle.

In fact, Amyot secretly controlled the group of investors, according to authorities. Inolife was thus placed at the center of a criminal “ecosystem,” federal police investigator Isabelle Pinard testified in June 2020, during a hearing to preserve recorded evidence. A network of about forty companies would have participated in the plan.

The authorities suspect that Amyot wants to indulge in pump and pull (pump and drop). In such a scheme, accomplices circulate false or misleading information about certain companies to artificially increase the value of their shares. They then liquidate their securities to pocket big profits before other investors discover the deception.

Amyot has already been fined US$6.9 million in the United States and US$11.2 million in Quebec for this type of fraud. He also served a three-month prison sentence.

… to cryptocurrencies

After a series of complex transactions, Inolife became Bitcoin Generation inc. in 2018. Other Quebecers joined the organization and changed the company’s mission: it would now focus on mining and trading cryptocurrencies.

The company said it held millions of “Bitcoin Generation tokens” and “bitachons,” two cryptocurrencies that were impossible to value because no platform allowed them to be traded.

Eventually, the Bitcoin Generation crashed when the Securities and Exchange Commission suspended trading in the shares. According to its statement, the organization was particularly concerned about the company’s “promotional activities” and “the impact of this activity on the market.”

The United States Stock Exchange watchdog also doubted “the accuracy of public information about Bitcoin Generation finances.”

If you have information about stock market manipulation, tax havens or tax evasion, please contact our journalist at hjoncas@protonmail.com or (1) 438 396-5546 (Signal, mobile).

“They will never find”

Despite the investigation into him, which has lasted five years, Jean-François Amyot defends himself well from having relapsed into stock market manipulation.


PHOTO FRANÇOIS MÉTHÉ, SPECIAL COLLABORATION

“Their assumption is that what happened with Inolife is what I’ve done in the past,” he says. But they will never find out because that is not what happened at all. »

However, he does acknowledge being a “consultant” to then-Inolife CEO Michael Wright until October 2017.

For his part, the former head of the company denies having worked with him and rejects the police theory, according to which Amyot secretly controlled his company.

“I don’t think that’s the case, no,” Michael Wright said by phone. He is now trying to revive needleless syringe technology through another company in Canada, NuGen Medical Services.

“People was scared”

Amyot also acknowledges having worked for Inolife’s successor in the US, Bitcoin Generation inc. She also claims that the Securities and Exchange Commission suspended the trading of the company’s shares at the request of the Autorité des marchés financiers, which was already investigating him and the company.

“People were scared,” he said. At that time, it was no longer possible to change the title, to do anything,” says Amyot.

However, he reiterates that he has nothing to be ashamed of.

“I pleaded guilty in 2017 and I will have to pay a debt for the rest of my life, a life sentence,” he said of his $11.2 million fine. A phrase that I accept today, and try to rebuild my professional life despite the challenges and obstacles. »

In 2019, authorities also searched North Montreal for Deniz Hadjiev, CEO of Bitcoin Generation, and later, as far as Calgary, for financial adviser Frederick Da Silva.

In interview with PressAmyot called him a “very good friend”.

By phone, Frederick Da Silva declined to comment. Press could not communicate with Deniz Hadjiev.

If you have information about stock market manipulation, tax havens or tax evasion, please contact our journalist at hjoncas@protonmail.com or (1) 438 396-5546 (Signal, mobile).


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