Canada Pursues Alleged Schemer
TORONTO—It seems the Canadian government is not so reluctant to let alleged Ponzi scheme mastermind Tzvi Erez off the hook.
Having dropped similar charges against Erez in September of 2010 because the province of Ontario did not have the resources to handle a lengthy fraud case, prosecutors have now laid fresh charges that say he swindled $9 million from investors via phony printing contracts, the Toronto Star reported.
Erez has been charged with 10 counts of fraud in the multimillion-dollar scheme that took place between 2005 and 2009. None of the money has been recovered and most of Erez's assets were harvested through a prior bankruptcy.
According to investigators, the victims were told that they were investing in printing contracts with major corporations including Subway, Movado and Tommy Hilfiger, the Star said. The investors, acquaintances of Erez's in the Jewish community, were promised returns ranging from 20 percent to 36 percent. Some money was paid back to the investors.
The losses suffered by the alleged Ponzi victims ranged from $275,000 to as much as $2 million. In a civil suit launched by a Ponzi complainant from the dropped case, Erez is alleged to have bilked $27 million from more than 70 investors, the Star reported.
Erez is due back in court this month.