Police won't confirm investigation into fraud allegations

Police refuse to confirm or deny whether they are investigating an investment company and its agent that were named in a lawsuit last week.

Roberta and John Hancock allege financial adviser defrauded them of life savings

John Hancock said he and his wife are now living hand-to-mouth.

Police refuse to confirm or deny whether they are investigating an investment company and its agent that were named in a lawsuit last week.

John and Roberta Hancock are suing their former investment adviser Glenn Dunbar Quadrus Investment Services for fraud and mismanagement involving close to $1.4 million.

The allegations have not been proven in court.

It's not the first time the company has caught the attention of the Nova Scotia Securities Commission. Earlier this year, Quadrus was fined $40,000 for failing to supervise a different agent who, among other things, had clients sign blank forms, and pay excessive deferred sales charges. The agent was fined $10,000.

Heidi Schedler, enforcement counsel with the securities commission, said it has one or two cases every year where it has to order companies to beef up their supervision of agents.

"We really do try to encourage investors to be knowledgeable and to be aware of what's happening at the organization that they are using for their investments and so that requires them to not only understand what is happening but to ask questions," she said.

Schedler said the industry has many levels of oversight but investors need to be watching too.

“That is probably the weakest link, is not asking questions,” said Rick Nason, a risk management consultant and associate finance professor at Dalhousie University.

Nason said it's also important to check your statements, never send money in your adviser's name, and avoid using an adviser who is a friend or relative.

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