Earl Jones – A Canadian Ponzi?

by Natalie MacLellan on July 20, 2009

in Choose an Advisor, Fraud Prevention, In the News

Madoff’s sentencing was still making headlines when the latest investment scheme hit Canadian headlines. Quebec businessman Earl Jones disappeared, along with as much as $50 million of his clients’ money, in an alleged Ponzi scheme.

(Read the Globe and Mail article: Dozens fall victim to apparent scheme.)

The Jones case displays some very real and disturbing characteristics of investment fraud, primarily:

1.  You don’t have to be rich to be a target of fraud.

According to reports, while some of Jones’ alleged victims lost hundreds of thousands of dollars, others had invested much less – as little as a few hundred dollars.

2.  Fraud is often carried out by someone you know and trust.

Jones was well known to his victims: a hockey coach, a longtime friend. He gained their trust, and then became their financial adviser. It didn’t occur to anyone to check the credentials of someone they knew so well. Had they looked further, they would have seen that Jones was not registered to trade in securities.

Jones’ clients were not limited to Quebec, they ranged from coast to coast, including Nova Scotia.

Anyone who believes they were victimized by Jones (or anyone else) should contact their local securities administrator. For more information, read how to report a suspected scam.

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