On January 29, 2021, Justice Buffoni approved the Companies’ Reporting Application regarding the Companies’ Settlement Agreement. The claim period and the distribution of compensation to the corporate defendants has now ended. The class action continues against the defendants Mattéo, Pettinicchio, Henry, Spura and Holden.
On February 12, 2021, Justice Buffoni approved the settlement between the plaintiff Andrée Ménard and Paul d’Andrea which provides that d’Andréa will collaborate with the plaintiff in the class action against the defendants. Justice Buffoni also authorized the amendment of the Originating Application to remove the companies as defendants since the litigation is over against them and to reflect the current status of the file.
Since that time, Justice Davis authorized the representative plaintiff to discontinue the class action against the Defendants Henry and Pettinicchio, as they had demonstrated that they were insolvent. It was therefore concluded that it was not in class members’ best interest to pursue the case against them.
The Class Action
On November 8, 2008, Andrée Ménard filed a motion for authorization to institute a class action against the defendants. The plaintiff alleges that the defendants Mattéo and D’Andréa organized a vast Ponzi scheme fraud, which was made possible by the negligence of the professionals and financial services businesses.
The class action seeks to indemnify the investors who are members of the group for the losses they have suffered following the actions of the defendants.
On August 25, 2011, the Honourable Jean-François Buffoni of the Quebec Superior Court authorized the class action.
Justice Buffoni authorized the institution of the class action on behalf of the following group:
All persons who on November 9, 2005 were the owners of promissory notes issued by Corporation Mount Real, Gestion MRACS Ltée, Investissements Real Vest Ltée and Corporation Real Assurance Acceptation.
The Settlement with corporates defendants
As a result of a settlement conference presided by the Honourable Louis Lacoursière of the Quebec Superior Court, an out-of-court settlement has been reached between the plaintiff, acting on behalf of all the owners of promissory notes issued by Corporation Mount Real, Gestion MRACS Ltée, Investissements Real Vest Ltée and Corporation Real Assurance Acceptation, and the five corporate defendants, that is the auditing firms and the trustees.
The amount of the settlement is around $ 43 million. The settlement puts an end to the class action against the settling defendants, without an admission of liability. The class action continues against the authors of the fraud, including Lino Matteo who is currently serving an 8-year prison sentence.
The settlement will be administered through the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (hereafter “CCAA”). On December 1, judge Buffoni granted an order appointing Raymond Chabot as the monitor of the CCAA process.
Plan of arrangement with corporates defendants
On December 1, Judge Buffoni appointed Andrée Ménard, the class representative, to represent the members in the CCAA proceedings and approved the retainer of TJL and Belleau Lapointe as counsel. This does not affect your rights or obligations, but ensures that you are properly represented in the CCAA proceedings.
The terms of the settlement have been detailed in a plan of arrangement. This plan of arrangement dictates the claims process as well as the distribution.
On April 26th, 2017 Judge Buffoni of the Superior Court approved the proposed Plan of Arrangement and the class counsel fees and expenses.