The founder of a Quebec cryptocurrency company allegedly stripped a dozen investors of nearly $6 million, which was used, among other things, for his personal 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 string of orders from the Financial Markets Administrative Tribunal.
According to the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), the trio would have “used part of the investors’ money to pay for operational costs of Timechain and personal expenses of Louis Cléroux, rather than investing it in the fund of cryptotrading operated by Timechain, as represented to investors. »
Down payment for a condo
Reached on the telephone by our Bureau of Investigation yesterday, Louis Cléroux did not beat around the bush to explain to us where the money went: “I took 200,000 dollars which I used as a down payment for buy me a condo,” he says, while claiming that this sum comes from the company’s profits.
Photo from Padmapper.com website
This $1.4 million condo in the Tour des Canadiens, in Montreal, belongs to Louis Cléroux, founder of the cryptocurrency company Timechain. The property is subject to an AMF blocking order.
He also indicates that money from investors “was used to hire staff and develop various products of his company”.
He claims that six of the twelve investors have been reimbursed, but that at the moment he does not have the money to reimburse 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 director of media relations for the organization; several shortcomings were observed according to him.
The Autorité des marchés financiers claims, 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 provided to the AMF and those 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 Financial Markets Administrative Tribunal on May 30, with respect to 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 an immediate intervention in the interest of the public, who moreover issued a blocking order on the condo of 1.4 million dollars of Louis Cléroux and his spouse, which they acquired on 1er September 2021.
The group was also prohibited by the court from carrying out any activity as a broker or adviser in securities as well as from carrying out any promotion or solicitation by internet or other means in connection with the cryptotrading operated by Timechain.
Founded in 2018 by Louis Cléroux, Timechain develops “a mobile application that allows users to transfer money between different countries […] more safely […] “, said Louis Cléroux during a speech he delivered 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 allow its customers to make cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency transactions at lower costs.