Montreal‑based company fined $450,000 for deceptive telemarketing
February 7, 2017 — OTTAWA, ON — Competition Bureau
On February 6, 2017, Mega Byte Information was sentenced by the Court of Québec after pleading guilty to operating a deceptive telemarketing scheme that sold subscriptions to online directories using misleading sales techniques that targeted thousands of businesses in Canada, the United States, and Europe.
As part of the guilty plea, the company will pay a fine of $450,000. In addition, the company’s president, Georges Haligua, is prohibited from engaging in telemarketing for 10 years. Mega Byte Information was part of a larger group of companies overseen by Mr. Haligua.
Products were sold under the company names of Merchant Retail Supplies, Electronic Transaction Supplies, Express Transaction Services, IT Data Direct, Mega Byte Information, International Secure Technologies, Paper Roll Logistics and Services de fournitures aux détaillants.
It should be noted this matter was resolved in this manner because of the recent Supreme Court decision in R v Jordan. As the delay exceeded timelines provided by the decision, the Crown decided it was in the public interest to resolve this matter by way of a guilty plea. The Bureau vigorously pursues those who participate in anti‑competitive activity and criminal deceptive marketing practices and refers these matters to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada for prosecution. They have independent authority on all decisions regarding the prosecution of a case, including sentencing submissions to the courts.
- In September 2011, five individuals and four Montreal‑based companies were charged with making misleading representations and engaging in deceptive telemarketing under the Competition Act, and fraud under the Criminal Code of Canada.
- Amalia DiFalco pleaded guilty on April 8, 2015, to charges of making misleading representations and engaging in deceptive telemarketing. She was fined $50,000, received a 15‑month conditional sentence and was required to perform 120 hours of community service.
- Carl Rubat‑Du‑Mérac pleaded guilty on April 16, 2015 to charges of engaging in deceptive telemarketing. On May 29, 2015, he was ordered to make a donation of $5,000 to a charitable organization, received a 2‑month conditional sentence and was required to perform 175 hours of community service.
- Éric Chenail pleaded guilty to charges of making misleading representations and engaging in deceptive telemarketing. On June 23, 2015, he was fined $10,000, received a 4‑month conditional sentence and was required to perform 175 hours of community service.
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