The Hamilton Spectator reported Friday that a "high-profile" financial adviser in that city, Scott Reeves, has been has been hit with four fraud charges relating to missing funds. Police say they think there may be more victims.
According to the police press release this past June, a 65-year old female from Burlington reported to Hamilton Police that she had been defrauded by her financial advisor, Scott Reeves and his company Reeves Financial Services Inc. of Hamilton. The victim reported that between 2009 and 2014 she invested approximately $300,000 in supposedly low-risk Credit Union Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GIC'S). The victim has since learned that none of her purported investments exist.
On Friday Hamilton Police executed an arrest warrant, arresting Reeves in Hamilton. He was remanded into custody and will appear for a bail hearing this morning, September 8th. Police suggest total losses could run into millions of dollars. "We believe the losses will be substantially more than we know about right now," Detective Duncan McCulloch of the major fraud branch said to the Spectator on Friday. "Losses are going to be in the millions rather than hundreds of thousands."
According to the press release six other complaints against Reeves have been filed according to police. Investigators believe that there may be other victims of fraud that have not yet realized their losses.
The paper reported that Reeves operated through four companies -- Reeves Group Solutions Ltd., Reeves Portfolio Management Inc., Reeves Private Wealth Inc. and Reeves Financial Services Inc. Reeves Financial was forced into bankruptcy in June after the landlord of its main office in Hamilton demanded payment of almost $180,000 in rent arrears. According to bankruptcy documents debts of almost $418,000 were balanced against assets of just $27,000. Reeves now faces two charges of uttering forged documents, one charge of fraud over $5,000 and a charge of laundering proceeds of crime
In June of this year Reeves posted a statement on his website that is still up on the front page. The statement seems to suggest Reeves tried to expand his business too fast and stumbled. According to the statement, "As an entrepreneur, running my business has resulted in good years and lean years. The financial services industry is under constant pressure from banks and large financial institutions. Smaller firms like mine are squeezed in the middle. As a result, over the last two years, we increased the size and scope of our business to improve competitiveness. This fast expansion increased the complexity of the business and required an increased leadership and autonomy for staff running the various divisions. In retrospect, they were focused on the wrong things and didn't manage the basic operations.
Ultimately I have to take responsibility for the poor business decisions made by some staff that are no longer with my firms. Now that we have restructured, my goal now is to rebuild the business...This is a tough industry with much less competition today for consumers and businesses than when I started almost 20 years ago. I have tried to find ways to keep financial service affordable and pass those savings onto my clients." According to the website, "What began in a single office in Hamilton has expanded to an operation more than ten times its original size with advisors that now counsel and help direct hundreds of millions of dollars in assets."
Sounds like there is more news to come out yet.