The Quebec man behind a cryptocurrency scam that fleeced nearly $15 million from investors has been sentenced to two months in jail, CBC/Radio-Canada reported on Friday.
Starting in August of this year, Quebecer Dominic Lacroix collected funds from investors buying into an Initial Coin Offering (ICO)—basically a fundraising round wherein people buy digital tokens from a startup—for a token called PlexCoin. PlexCoin offered eye-popping returns, but its claims about employing a global team of experts were bullshit, according to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, among other falsities.
Lacroix was ordered to stop the launch of PlexCoin by Quebec’s financial regulator in July, but went ahead with the ICO anyway. For that, Lacroix earned a contempt of court charge in Quebec and had his assets frozen in the province. In November, the SEC followed Quebec’s lead and filed a complaint against PlexCoin, Lacroix, and his partner Sabrina Paradis-Royer. The SEC called PlexCoin a “full-fledged cyber scam” and froze the pair’s assets in the US.
Now, PlexCoin and Lacroix have been delivered some small portion of justice in Canada. According to CBC/Radio-Canada, Lacroix will serve two months in jail and will personally pay a fine of $10,000 CAD. His Quebec-based company, DL Innov, will have to pay a much larger fine: $100,000.
"The greed at the expense of investors who are promised unmatched interest rates remained the only goal of the defendants despite the [July] decision," Justice Marc Lesage of the Quebec Superior Court said, CBC/Radio-Canada reported. While a $10,000 personal fine might seem out of step with the massive amount of money PlexCoin took from investors, the news agency reports that the judge ordered the maximum fines allowed by law for an individual and a corporation.
PlexCoin’s legal saga is probably not finished after Friday’s ruling in Quebec. After all, the company still has the US feds on its tail.
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