The founder of a Quebec cryptocurrency company has allegedly siphoned nearly $6 million from a dozen investors, which went towards his personal expenses, among other things.
Louis Cléroux, founder of cryptocurrency firm Timechain, along with his partner Jérémie Picard and associate Mathieu Cocher, were hit by a series of orders from the Financial Markets Administrative Court on Monday.
According to the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), the trio “would have used some of the investors’ money to pay for Timechain’s operating costs and Louis Cléroux’s personal expenses, rather than investing it in the fund of crypto trading operated by Timechain, represented to investors. »
Down payment for a condominium
Louis Cléroux, reached by phone yesterday from our Bureau of Investigation, didn’t beat around the bush to explain where the money went: “I took $200,000 which I’m using as a down payment on the purchase of a condo have,” he says, claiming that that sum came from the company’s profits.
Photo from Padmapper.com website
This $1.4 million condo in Montreal’s Tour des Canadiens is owned by Louis Cléroux, founder of cryptocurrency firm Timechain. The property is subject to an AMF blocking order.
He also states that money from investors “was used to hire staff and develop various products of his company”.
He claims six of the 12 investors have been reimbursed, but he doesn’t have the money to reimburse the other six at the moment.
As for the AMF, the investigation is ongoing and we’re still trying to find out what we did with the money, says the organization’s head of media relations; According to him, several shortcomings were identified.
The Autorité des marchés financiers alleges, among others, that Timechain, Louis Cléroux, Jérémie Picard and Mathieu Cocher “have practiced the activity of securities broker without being registered as such with the AMF”, which is illegal.
They are also accused of making non-compliant investments and providing false information to investigators from the Autorité des Marchés Financiers as part of their investigation.
“There is a significant difference between the numbers we have provided the AMF with and what they have,” admits Louis Cléroux, but “I will investigate internally to understand what happened” .
The case is so worrying that on May 30, the AMF obtained several injunctions and prohibitions from the Financial Markets Administrative Court in relation to the company, its directors and its shareholders, and certain persons closely associated with them.
The court, recognizing the urgency and need for immediate action in the public interest, also issued a $1.4 million freeze order on Louis Cléroux and his wife’s condo, which they purchased on January 1, 2007ah Sep 2021.
The Group has also been barred by the court from acting as a securities broker or adviser, as well as from advertising or soliciting over the internet or otherwise in connection with the crypto trading powered by Timechain.
Founded in 2018 by Louis Cléroux, Timechain develops “a mobile application that allows users to transfer money between different countries […] safer […] ‘ said Louis Cléroux during a speech he gave earlier this year in March.
The company claims to make profits by trading cryptocurrency at the best market price around the world.
The company also claims to provide its customers with cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency transactions at a lower cost.