Decision in brief: DeBono, Inter-Jurisdictional Enforcement Proceeding, Sanctions, February 6, 2024
DeBono (Re), 2024 ONCMT 8
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice convicted Charles DeBono of fraud. DeBono told investors their money would be invested in point-of-sale debit terminals in stores and that they would earn money on transactions made at the terminal. Instead, he used money from new investors to pay earlier investors and for his own personal expenses. The Court sentenced DeBono to seven years in jail.
OSC staff asked that DeBono be restricted from participating in Ontario’s capital markets based on the Court’s decision.
The Tribunal decided to permanently ban DeBono from participating in Ontario’s capital markets. Over a period of several years, DeBono defrauded hundreds of victims of over $29 million. The agreements between DeBono and his investors were investment contracts, which is one definition of a security. Investors invested money in a business, with the goal of earning returns from transactions made on the terminals. The success of the business was dependent on DeBono. This was a sophisticated scheme driven by greed. A permanent ban from the capital markets is needed to protect investors from DeBono and to discourage other people who might think about doing something similar.