Fake Calgary investment firm deletes website after clients speak out
Investors still haven't heard from the company and fear they won't see their money again
An investment company that claimed to be based in Calgary has deleted its website after investors spoke out, saying they've lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
On Feb. 5, CBC News reported a group of South African investors had sent money in bitcoin to what they had been told was a Calgary company — Reannex Investments.
The company claimed it was located on the third floor of the Lancore Building, on 10th Street and 10th Avenue in southwest Calgary but it's not — that building has been home to a government office since the '90s.
CBC News reached out to the company multiple times over a number of weeks and has not received a response. The company's phone numbers are disconnected. CBC News was able to trace the company back to a registration number in the UK.
On Saturday morning, the company's website was deleted.
- Watch reporter Sarah Rieger explain her investigation into Reannex in the video at the top of this story.
Staff listed on the now-deleted company website also don't seem to exist. Searches of staff members' names like "chef executive officer Sharlok Homes [sic]" turn up no results. Homes' photo is a stock photo.
Investors said after the website's deletion that they still haven't heard from the company — and now are unable to even view the money that was sitting in their Reannex accounts, money they haven't been able to withdraw for months.
Their investments range from $5,000 to $450,000 US.
The rand — South Africa's currency — is one of the world's most volatile, making cryptocurrency or investments that appear to be in Canadian or U.S. dollars significantly more appealing, clients said.
RCMP, Calgary police, London police and South African police have not said if the company is under investigation — with some agencies declining comment and others saying the investigation would not fall under their jurisdiction.
Alison Trollope, director of communications and investor education with the Alberta Securities Commission, has said the commission may not have jurisdiction to investigate a company that represents itself as based in Canada but has no actual ties to the country. But it would certainly co-operate with international authorities' investigations if needed, she said.