The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has announced that Marc Brunet of Chesterville, Ontario has been sentenced to two and a half years in jail. His wife, Helene Brunet, was sentenced to 12 months of probation. Mr. and Mrs. Brunet were sentenced on December 1, 2021 by Justice J. Loignon of the Ontario Court of Justice in Ottawa. An order for restitution in excess of $706,000 was also made against both parties.
Mr. and Mrs. Brunet were convicted of quasi-criminal charges under the Securities Act (Ontario) in the Ontario Court of Justice in Ottawa on June 18, 2021. Mr. Brunet was convicted of one count of fraud, one count of trading of securities without registration, and one count of trading in securities without a prospectus. Ms. Brunet was convicted on one count of trading in securities without a prospectus.
“The court’s decision to impose a significant jail sentence in this case sends a clear message to anyone thinking of committing securities fraud in Ontario that they will be held accountable for their actions,” said Jeff Kehoe, Director of Enforcement at the OSC.
The convictions relate to the sale of over $750,000 worth of securities in MultiCast Networks Holdings Inc. to Ontario investors between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2016. The court found that a significant percentage of the money raised was used for personal benefit by Mr. and Mrs. Brunet.
Mr. and Mrs. Brunet have both filed notices of appeal in respect of their convictions and Mr. Brunet has been granted bail pending appeal.
The OSC would like to acknowledge the assistance of Detective Sergeant Brigitte Brousseau from the Ontario Provincial Police in the successful investigation and prosecution of this matter.
This investigation was conducted by a team within the OSC Enforcement branch that investigates quasi-criminal and criminal offences related to securities, including the investigation of alleged recidivists. Their primary objective is to protect investors and further enhance confidence in the Canadian capital markets through effective enforcement. To date, this team has pursued 55 quasi-criminal and criminal matters involving 79 accused.
Charges laid under the Securities Act (quasi-criminal) are prosecuted by the OSC. Charges laid under the Criminal Code are prosecuted by the Ministry of the Attorney General.
The mandate of the OSC is to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices, to foster fair, efficient and competitive capital markets and confidence in the capital markets, to foster capital formation, and to contribute to the stability of the financial system and the reduction of systemic risk. Investors are urged to check the registration of any persons or company offering an investment opportunity and to review the OSC investor materials available at www.osc.ca.