Manitoba

Manitoba couple permanently barred from trading in securities

A Manitoba husband and wife have been permanently barred from trading in securities after investors lost money in a plan that included a 30 per cent annual rate of return on investment in some cases.

Manitoba Securities Commission reaches settlement with Neil and Agatha Friesen

Neither Neil (Cornelius) Friesen nor Agatha Friesen have ever been registered under the Securities Act in Manitoba to sell securities. (CBC)

A Manitoba husband and wife have been permanently barred from trading in securities after investors lost money in a plan that included a 30 per cent annual rate of return on investment in some cases.

Neil Friesen and his wife Agatha Friesen are permanently prohibited from acting as a director or officer of any company that issues securities in a Feb. 18 settlement with the Manitoba Securities Commission.

Neither of the Friesens had ever been registered under the Securities Act in Manitoba to sell securities, the settlement says.

Both had been directors of a numbered company, 5205557 Manitoba Inc., that received investments from 11 investors in 2009 and 2010. 

The settlement says investments ranged from $10,000 Cdn to $70,000 US, with the annual rate of return ranging from 24 to 36 per cent.

No one fully repaid

The funds raised were deposited into the accounts of the numbered company, from which cheques were issued payable to One World United Inc. and One World United Loyalty Ltd., the settlement says.

The investors' understanding of how their money would be used varied, but one item included purchasing One World United gift cards.

The investors received some payments of interest or principal, but no one was ever fully repaid, the settlement says. 

In 2017 Neil Friesen, also known as Cornelius Friesen, was sentenced to four years in prison along with Jeff Dyck after pleading guilty to two counts of tax evasion related to One World United.

In that case, the Crown attorney had called it an "aggressive tax planning scheme" in which participants contributed an amount in cash to One World and in return, were given invoices for business losses in amounts greater than the cash contribution. 

Neil Friesen filed for bankruptcy in January 2017. 

In the settlement with the securities commission, both Agatha and Neil Friesen acknowledge they acted contrary to the public interest and traded in securities without being registered to do so. 

The case was scheduled to go to a hearing March 1, but instead the settlement was reached.

The securities commission first confirmed in 2013 that Neil Friesen was under investigation. 

One World United was dissolved in 2011 and One World United Loyalty was dissolved in 2012, the settlement says.

Got a tip for the CBC I-Team to investigate? Email iteam@cbc.ca or call the confidential tip line at 204-788-3744.

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