Technology

HGregoire prosecuted for illegal activities

The Autorité des Marchés financiers du Québec (AMF) is suing used car dealer HGregoire for some of its actions that are considered illegal. A total of 31 allegations of wrongdoing were filed against the company and six of its employees.

Target collaborators are Patrick D’Onofrio, Ali Khalil, Ferli Exama, Nabil Buras, Donatina Cordone and Pascal Favreau. Oddly enough, there is no information about these people on the Internet, and all Facebook profiles seem to be empty or very sparsely populated. In addition to the reference to the filing of AMF charges, radio silence regarding Messrs. D’Onofrio, Khalil, Bouras and Ms. Cordone and Favreau. Only Mr. Exama has a LinkedIn profile that lists him as the group’s chief financial officer.

According to the AMF investigation, HGrégoire and its aforementioned employees allegedly committed a number of violations in the context of distribution without a representative of insurance products for the life, health and job loss of the debtor in the sale of used cars. “Reports filed with the Consumer Authority report several violations, in particular that an insurance product was sold without consent or even presented as binding for a transaction,” AMF said in a press release.

Alleged Facts

HGregoire is the subject of 14 counts, including 12 “for applying improper pressure or using fraudulent maneuvers to induce customers to obtain an insurance product, 1 count for not disclosing to customers the remuneration received for the sale of an insurance product when it exceeded 30% of the value of the product, and and, finally, paragraph 1 on failure to notify customers under Section 440 of the Law on the Distribution of Financial Products and Services.”

The last accusation concerns the obligation to mention the possibility of terminating the insurance contract within 10 days after signing the contract (section 440 of the law mentioned above).

Patrick D’Onofrio is personally prosecuted on four counts, and M.M. Khalil, Ekzama and Buras are charged with three counts. Meanwhile, Donatina Cordone and Pascal Favreau received two bills each.

First accusations from AMF

This is the first time a criminal case has been brought against Grégoire, emphasizes Jean-Francois Fortin, CEO of AMF Market Control.

“There were gestures [posés par la société et ses employés] which served as the basis for the filing of charges, ”said Sylvie Bouchet, director of litigation at AMF, for her part.

The Financial Sector Supervisory Authority did not provide details on the branches where the offenses may have occurred or the relevant periods, as in the case of this type of business, as the case is pending in a Quebec court. The next step is the application that the Saint-Jérôme company will file with the court.

Already sued OPC

This is not the first time that the authorities hit Grégoire on the fingers. In 2005, direct reseller Encan H. Grégoire, an ancestor of HGrégoire, was singled out by the Consumer Protection Authority for a history of inflated prices, spokesman Charles Tanguet confirmed via email. The dealer was selling cars at sales prices higher than those advertised in the newspapers, which is prohibited by law.

“After a day of trial, the company and its administrator, Grikor Khairabedyan, decided to plead guilty to several of the charges against them (10 out of 15),” added Mr. Tanguay.

Direct auction E. Gregoire, who initially disputed the facts, eventually paid a fine.

In this case, OPC also sued the Montreal Auto Prix for non-compliance with the rules.

Protégez-Vous tried to contact the company, but our messages went unanswered.

>> Read also: Buying a car: beware of illegal additional expenses

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