Accused Ponzi Schemer Avoids Prosecution

TORONTO—Tzvi Erez, owner of bankrupt print brokerage E Graphix and the man accused of defrauding 70 investors of $27 million through expertly forged documents in a Ponzi scheme, will not face prosecution in Canada, according to CBC News. The Ontario Crown Attorney’s Office withdrew charges, in part, because the court lacks resources to go after Erez.

CBC quoted a laywer from the Crown attorney’s office as saying one of the reasons the case was not pursued is because of competition over trial time. The court docket is filled with cases involving violent crimes including rape and murder, and the availability of judges prompted the Crown attorney’s office to make the difficult decision.

According to CBC, the Crown had not fulfilled its requirement under the country’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms to try Erez in a reasonable amount of time. The original charges against Erez were levied more than 16 months ago.

A 295-page report was filed in Ontario Superior Court by receiver Jerry Henechowicz, who was appointed to vet investor claims, as well as locate and seize assets as part of the civil bankruptcy case against Erez’s companies, according to CBC. The evidence appeared to be damning; the report said Erez received tens of millions of dollars in loans for E Graphix via documents that turned out to be elaborate forgeries.

Investors were allegedly shown ersatz purchase orders, invoices and various other documents to give the impression of a profitable, but underfinanced, print brokerage business.