The illegal diversion of client money, by Fernando Moto Mendes, Sharon Lexa Lamb, Ryan Bateman, and Derek Buntain, was accomplished under the supervision of the Canadian investment advisers entrusted with safeguarding their clients' life savings. Some estimates of the total amount of client funds missing exceed USD$400m. Only a portion was transferred to Bateman Capital; some funds were diverted elsewhere.
Investigators have now confirmed that the offshore financial institution where the Canadian advisers, and their Caribbean conspirators, have long stated that client funds were on deposit, have no records that the clients ever had any funds in that bank, notwithstanding that verbal and written assurances were given to the clients. Numerous complaints, from Canadian investors who are unable to access their funds, have been received by regulators in the Caribbean jurisdiction where a large portion of the money disappeared.
While we are not identifying the Canadian investment firm at this time, some of its staff and officers were formerly employed at a prominent financial services company, and were reportedly asked to leave, after being implicated in a stock manipulation scheme. The matter was investigated by the Ontario Securities Commission, but the company declined to press criminal charges. That was a mistake, for some of the departing employees improperly used inside information, regarding confidential information concerning the company's future acquisition. We will be identifying those individuals, and detailing their respective roles, when certain additional information becomes public record; One individual is retired, but all the others are active investment advisers.
The Canadian company is refusing to release any financial information to those clients who believe that they have been defrauded, their assets dissipated, and illegal covert profits taken with their money. It has, however, disclosed that it has engaged in what may be considered as illegal trades in securities, using their funds, again totally without client permission, authorization and knowledge. Documents were allegedly altered, client signatures forged, and records destroyed, all to cover up the trading fraud.
It is believed that the company's present dilatory tactics are being conducted solely to allow it sufficient time to sell off assets, to find money with which to repay its investors, as client funds were reportedly completely co-mingled with other capital. The civil, and criminal, liability of the company, and its officers, directors, staff members and employees, will certainly be a question for Canadian courts, and courts in other jurisdictions, as more details of the scandal emerge. We shall be covering the legal proceedings in detail, commencing tomorrow, when they become public.