Court Fines Officer of Digital World Financial

TORONTO (October 7, 2005) - On October 3, 2005 Joseph LaCroix, the sole officer and director of Digital World Financial, pleaded guilty to the charge of conducting the business of a loan and trust corporation without being registered in the province of Ontario. LaCroix was fined $50,000 and placed on probation for two years. As a condition of the probation LaCroix must pay to the Probation Office approximately $2.2 million in restitution to depositors.

LaCroix also pleaded guilty to carrying on the business of insurance in Ontario without a licence and was fined $5,000.

The charges were brought by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) following an investigation of LaCroix and his company. On November 30, 2004, FSCO ordered Digital World Financial to cease and desist conducting the business of a loan corporation in Ontario without being registered.

"Consumers are advised to always check to ensure their insurance agent and/or broker, as well as their financial institution, is licensed or registered," said Bob Christie, CEO and Superintendent of FSCO. For more information visit FSCO’s website at www.fsco.gov.on.ca

FSCO is an arm’s length agency of the Ministry of Finance that regulates insurance, pensions, credit unions, caisses populaires, co-operatives, mortgage brokers and loan and trust corporations in the province of Ontario.

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Media Contact
Rowena McDougall
Senior Manager, Public Affairs
(416) 590-7176
rmcdouga@fsco.gov.on.ca