The news that another group of gullible Canadians have been allegedly duped out of millions of dollars is sure to bring calls for greater government oversight of the financial services industry.
CBC news is reportingthat a low-profile investment guru in southern Ontario, Robert Mander, killed himself as investigators and clients began to suspect that his company, E.M.B. Capital Growth Corp. was a front for an elaborate Ponzi scheme.
Police found the dead body of Mander in his home in Freelton, Ont. North of Hamilton on March 17. It is reported that a group of investors had been seeking to force Mander and his company to pay back $16-million in loans.
It is suspected that Mander, who promoted himself as an investment wizard who could produce 25% returns from investing in start-up companies, simply used investors funds to finance his affluent lifestyle. Reports say he had a $3-million homein Oakville, Ont., which he was trying to sell, an art gallery in Oakville, and the home in Freelton. CBC reported that he built an $85,000 play-house for his nine-year-old son in the backyard of his home.
Now a judge has appointed an independent receiver to investigate Manders assets but there may be nothing left and no recourse for investors who may have allegedlybeen completely defrauded.
The incident will cast a pall over the investment services industry which has seen several charlatans bilk unsuspecting Canadians out of millions of dollars. What is appalling to us is how well-off and educated Canadians can hand over their money to someone without the slightest bit of research into what they are getting themselves into.