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ASC issues sanctions against convicted fraudster

Tyler Waugh

New restrictions have been levied against a woman convicted of fraud in relation to a proposed development west of Hinton. 

Marie Louise LaFramboise was sentenced to four years in jail and ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution after pleading guilty in January 2019 to one count of fraud. The Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) issued orders against her on Jan. 28, 2020 under the Securities Act (Alberta).

An ASC panel noted the seriousness of fraud, and observed that “the scheme was multifaceted, continued for several years, affected at least 24 individuals, and [involved over] $1 million, of which substantial amounts were misappropriated” for LaFramboise’s personal use.  

According to the decision issued by the ASC a company by the name of Cougar Rock Holdings Ltd. [CRHL] entered into an agreement in 2003 with the Government of Alberta to lease 1,200 acres of land in the Hinton-Jasper area with the objective of building a commercial recreational property that included condominiums and a golf course.

In 2006, LaFramboise entered into an agreement with the founder of CRHL, by which she could develop condominiums on a portion of the leased lands. LaFramboise formed a company called Eagle Ridge Resort Group Inc. [ERRG] for this purpose.

In 2009,all shares of Cougar Rock were sold to Eagle Ridge.

The panel ordered that LaFramboise must: 

• permanently cease trading in securities or derivatives, and that all exemptions contained in Alberta securities laws do not apply to her;

• must resign all positions she holds as a director or officer of any issuer and is permanently prohibited from becoming or acting as a director or officer (or both) of any issuer or other person or company that is authorized to issue securities; and 

• is permanently prohibited from engaging in investor relations activities, from advising in securities or derivatives, from becoming or acting as a registrant, investment fund manager or promoter, and from acting in a management or consultative capacity in connection with activities in the securities market.