Closeup of mallet being hit on stacked coins at table in courtroom

The perpetrators of an unregistered investment scheme in Quebec have been hit with fines and jail time by a provincial court judge.

The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) announced that Michel Desroches and Fernando Charest were both sentenced to 18 months in jail and fined a combined $542,000 after pleading guilty to 171 violations of provincial securities law.

Desroches was fined $340,000 and Charest was fined $202,000 by Honorable Gilles Lafrenière, a judge of the Court of Quebec, Drummondville district. A pair of numbered companies involved in the case were also fined a combined $115,000.

The AMF reported that the defendants in the case pleaded guilty in 2017 to charges brought by the regulator after its investigation found that Desroches and Charest recruited investors to join an unregistered private investment club, raising over $400,000 from 24 investors.

The regulator also noted that the defendants have appealed the judge’s decision.