Widow lost $100K with Victoria investment adviser
B.C. Securities Commission says $65M is virtually gone
A Vancouver Island senior who trusted the advice of Victoria investment adviser David Michaels says she lost $100,000 after remortgaging her home to invest.
On Thursday, the B.C. Securities Commission said it is looking into claims that former mutual fund salesman David Michaels fraudulently sold $65-million worth of investments to 484 investors between 2007 and 2010.
The Securities Commission alleges Michaels hasn't been registered to sell securities in B.C. since 2006, when he resigned while facing disciplinary action from the Investment Dealers Association.
Despite losing his registration, the commission alleges, Michael went on to make millions for himself by using an infomercial on Victoria's CFAX radio station to promote himself as "one of the top producing financial advisers in Canada".
Helen Dubas was one of the hundreds of investors who trusted Michaels and a took out a line of credit against her house to invest with him.
"David advised that it would be a really good deal. I took a line of credit against my house for that $100,000 … and that's $100,000 that I'm not going to be able to pay off in my lifetime."
"He gave me brochures that said guaranteed. That even if the thing went down I'd be guaranteed my money back, which of course wasn't true at all," she said.
Dubas said she and her husband had a long relationship with Michaels.
"My husband had real faith in David because he really sold us on that we were getting a good deal with him, right. He would be so disappointed with …he's passed away, but he would have been so disappointed in David," said Dubas.
Other investors told CBC News that Michaels was personable and knowledgeable and promised them their money was being put into low-risk funds including an oil company and a private seniors care centre.
But the BCSC says virtually all of the $65 million invested is gone and Michaels is now under investigation for his claims.
The BCSC says the investigation is continuing and no determinations have been made, but a public hearing is expected to be held within six months time.
The CBC was not able to reach Michaels for comment and he has not yet filed a defence to the recent allegations.
No criminal charges have been laid against Michaels in relation to the investigation.