Disgraced Montreal financial advisor Earl Jones awaits sentencing for orchestrating a Ponzi scheme that defrauded his investors of $50 million for more than two decades. The fifth estate investigates Jones’ life, how he created his scheme and how he was able to get away with fraud for so long, in Earl Jones: In Trust.
Earl Jones grew up in the tightly knit, modest, West End Montreal neighbourhood of Notre Dame de Grace, the youngest of four children. harming, warm and generous, he commanded loyalty throughout the neighbourhood. When Jones started out in business, looking for investors, he would not forget his childhood friends. They probably wished that he had.
Twenty-five years later, in the climate of fear created by a worldwide recession, the intricate financial puzzle that Jones had constructed began to crumble. Among the investors defrauded by Jones was his own brother, Bevan, who describes to the fifth estate his own sense of loss and betrayal.
The fifth estate gained exclusive access to the Jones bankruptcy proceedings led by forensic accountant Gilles Robillard who combed through boxes of cheques, ATM and credit card statements dating back to 1987. Robillard takes Hana Gartner through the money trail. Robillard says he’s never seen anything like it.
And in Earl Jones: In Trust, the fifth estate raises questions about when Jones’ bank realized that his business transactions were suspicious.