Multi-million dollar scams? Blame the investors, suggest some advisors

Multi-million dollar scams? Blame the investors, suggest some advisors

Multi-million dollar scams? Blame the investors, suggest some advisors Put the blame on investors; say some advisors, in reaction to an Alberta fraud case that saw more than 1,300 of them scammed out of $23 million.

The onus is on clients to do their homework and ensure they are dealing with a credible advisor, while avoiding getting caught up in a ‘too good to be true’ story, promising hefty returns, argue some.

 “…The investors have to take some responsibility. They were extremely gullible and very greedy,” reads one comment from an advisor posted to the WP website.

Kevin Cahill, an Ontario-based advisor, agrees, adding that while the accused were really good sales people, the victims, caught up in the return potential, failed to dig deeper and do the necessary research.

"The people who were greedy and thought they could make a 500 per cent return, they need to take responsibility for their own actions," he says. "If you are going to follow greed, there is a risk associated with it. Gimme, gimme, never gets."

Another adivsor disagrees, at least on the greed factor.

“More than 1,300 gullible or greedy investors; unbelievable! This won't stop until (1) the public starts dealing with 'accredited advisors' who are members of reputable professional organizations & (2) scammers like these are thrown in jail for a 20 or 30 years; with NO time off for good behaviour,” reads another comment.

An RCMP investigation has revealed that, while hiding behind the company, Concrete Equities Inc., based out of Calgary, two Alberta men allegedly convinced investors – spanning from British Columbia to Ontario – to put their money into an undeveloped beach property in Mexico – the Golfo de Santa Clara project. Investment funds were allegedly diverted to other businesses beginning in 2007, and transferred to Concrete Equities in 2009.

Dave Humeniuk of St. Albert, Alta. and Varun Aurora of Calgary – previously fined and disciplined by Alberta’s Securities Commission for the sale of $100-million of limited partnership securities – have now been ordered by the provincial regulator to stop trading or selling securities.

Humeniuk is set to appear in court at the end of February, while a Canada-wide arrest warrant has been issued for Aurora.

"The worst part about this case," adds Cahill. " that the people who just lost money and got burned will never trust again."

Related stories:

$23m fraud hits 1,300 investors

Clients may have exposed alleged fraudster

Will you pass this background check?

  • Doug McCaw 2014-01-23 11:27:45 AM
    A question every investor should ask when dealing with someone is "where do I go in Alberta, BC or Ontario to find a database that provides background regulatory information on this company, offering and individuals'?
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  • Bob White 2014-01-23 2:09:30 PM
    I believe people need to be educated on the fact that there are no guaranteed returns as presented! Second, when advisors sell products or investments that are off book, they have to be held responsible to the credibility of the investments, unless it happens to be the dealer promoting the product and they are said to have done due diligence, and then they need to be held responsible.

    Fact greedy consumer X greedy advisor = bad news.

    Only do business with advisors who are members of professional organization who are scrutinize via regulatory bodies offering product that can only be sold or offered via regulated firms / companies.

    When bad people do premeditated bad things, then make them pay dearly, and I do not mean 20 years behind bars with 3 meals a day and TV and rights to vote.

    Make it a death do us part and then the next one considering defrauding anyone, will have to consider real hard if the risk matched the rewards.

    Canada needs to stop being bleeding harts and have dramatic effect on the bad people so good people are not burdened with the complexity of rules that bad please get around and still cause harm. Good people make mistakes, Bad people plan the bad things they do. Give a reason not to plan bad things.


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  • Steve 2014-01-28 7:48:36 PM
    To my understanding the court date or hearing is scheduled for February the 27th. Can the public attend this hearing? I am an investor of CE and would love to attend. Given that the RCMP financial integrity have already charged both directors with fraud, money laundering etc will the judge be able to enforce a mandatory jail sentence for the crimes they committed? What are your public thoughts on the repercussions and consequences of the directors of Concrete Equities? I'd be curios to know what will unfold
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