The founder of a Quebec cryptocurrency company allegedly stripped a dozen investors of nearly $6 million, which was used, among other things, for his expenses.
Louis Cléroux, founder of the cryptocurrency firm Timechain, as well as his partner Jérémie Picard and his employee Mathieu Cocher, were hit on Monday by a series of orders from the Administrative Court of Financial Markets.
According to the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), the trio would have “used part of the investors’ money to pay the operating costs of Timechain and the personal expenses of Louis Cléroux, instead of investing it in the fund of cryptocurrency trading operated by Timechain, represented before investors. »
Down payment on a condo
Reached by phone yesterday by our Bureau of Investigation, Louis Cléroux did not beat around the bush to explain to us where the money went: “I took $200,000 that I used as a down payment to buy a condo,” he says, alleging that this sum comes from utilities of the company.
Photo from Padmapper.com website
This $1.4 million condo on Montreal’s Tour des Canadiens belongs to Louis Cléroux, founder of cryptocurrency company Timechain. The property is subject to a blocking order from the AMF.
It also indicates that the investors’ money “was used to hire staff and develop various products of his company.”
He states that six of the twelve investors have been repaid, but that at the moment he does not have the money to repay the other six.
As for the AMF, the investigation is not yet complete and we are still trying to determine what we did with the money, says the organization’s director of media relations; According to him, several shortcomings were noted.
The Autorité des marchés financiers affirm, among other things, that Timechain, Louis Cléroux, Jérémie Picard, and Mathieu Cocher “would have exercised the activity of securities brokers without being registered as such with the AMF”, which is illegal.
They are also accused of having made investments without complying with the regulations and of having provided false information to the investigators of the Autorité des marchés financiers as part of their investigation.
“There is a significant difference between the figures we provide to the AMF and the ones it has”, admits Louis Cléroux, but “I will investigate internally to understand what happened”.
The case is so worrying that the AMF obtained several orders and prohibitions from the Administrative Court of Financial Markets on May 30, regarding the company, its directors, and its shareholders as well as against certain people related to them.
The court recognized the urgency and the need for immediate intervention in the interest of the public, who also issued a blocking order on the $1.4 million condominiums owned by Louis Cléroux and his spouse, which they acquired on 1Ahem September 2021.
The court also prohibited the group from engaging in any activity as a securities broker or adviser, as well as from engaging in any promotion or solicitation over the Internet or otherwise in connection with the cryptocurrency trading operated by Timechain.
Founded in 2018 by Louis Cléroux, Timechain develops “a mobile application that allows users to transfer money between different countries […] safer […] “Louis Cléroux said during a speech he gave earlier this year, in March.
The company claims to make a profit by trading cryptocurrencies at the best market price around the world.
The company also claims that it allows its customers to transact cryptocurrency to cryptocurrency at lower costs.
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