Financial adviser Earl Jones surrenders
Missing financial adviser Earl Jones turned himself in to Quebec provincial police on Monday, weeks after provincial securities regulators said he was suspected of bilking clients out of as much as $50 million.
He had been sought since early July, when Quebec's financial watchdog, L'Autorité des marchés financiers, put a freeze on the assets of Jones' small Montreal-based investment firm.
Jones, 67, was led out of his lawyer's office in downtown Montreal just after 1 p.m. Monday, accompanied by his lawyer, Jeffrey Boro. Boro declined to make any comment.
Jones is expected to appear in court in Montreal on Tuesday on what Boro said would be fraud and theft charges. The allegations against Jones have not been proved in court.
Boro told CBC News last week that he had been in constant contact with both Jones and the police, saying Jones was a "very depressed individual … dealing with an awful situation."
He said that Jones was willing to meet with police after they finished reviewing his finances. At that time, Boro wouldn't disclose exactly where Jones was, only that he was not with his wife.
The news that Jones had turned himself in delighted Cherie Beluse, the mother of one of Jones's investors.
"Oh, this is so good," Beluse said. "I didn't think it was going to happen this quickly — hoping against hope that it would happen in the next few days. But, I gotta tell ya, I'm elated at this point."
Others, including Ginny Nelles, were also happy.
"That betrayal is so painful," said Nelles, whose family were investors and friends of Jones. "It's so deep. It keeps you up at night."
Christiane Jackson said she wants him to spend the rest of his life in jail.
"I'm sorry but that's the way I feel because we are going to spend the rest of our life suffering with nothing left."
In early July, the provincial financial watchdog alleged that based on information it had collected, Jones is suspected of diverting between $30 million and $50 million in investments belonging to about 50 investors.
It said most of the affected investors are believed to be residents of Quebec but some could be from elsewhere in Canada and the United States.
The regulator alleged the business resembled a Ponzi scheme — a type of pyramid sales scam in which money from new investors is used to pay off the earlier ones.
Jones's many clients say the self-styled financial adviser stopped sending out statements months ago, and didn't reply to their phone calls and messages.
Jones's wife and daughters hadn't spoken publicly until last week, when they said they were shocked by the allegations.