Norbourg investors to get nearly $32 million

By Mark Brown | June 28, 2006 | Last updated on June 28, 2006
2 min read

About 5,600 investors who were stung by Norbourg will receive $31.7 million, according to the court appointed receiver, Ernst & Young.

The move will help more than half of the estimated 9,200 investors — mostly Quebec residents — who lost their savings to the Norbourg group of companies, which included the Evolution fund family. According to a Canadian Press report, some cheques have already been sent out after a Quebec Superior Court judge approved the measure.

At a news conference in Montreal on Wednesday, Ernst & Young said the cash distribution will not interfere with the court’s ability to make a judgement against Norbourg.

According to reports, the investors who are going to be reimbursed are those who had money in funds that were financially solvent when the scandal broke last year.

The money, which is being distributed by Ernst & Young, is being drawn from the available assets of the company. So far, the receiver has recovered about $75 million. The remainder of the money will be held in reserve until the courts determine how to distribute the money to investors and creditors.

A judgment on this matter is not expected until at least the fall.

In August, 2005, Quebec’s securities regulator announced it was freezing Norbourg’s assets as it looked into allegations that more than $130 million had been misappropriated from investors by the company’s former president, Vincent Lacroix between 2002 and 2005. He has maintained his innocence.

In March, the RCMP’s Integrated Market Enforcement Team was called in to investigate after the regulator said one of its employees was offered a bribe in the case.

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Mark Brown