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Mortgage Broker News | 13 Dec 2018, 10:24 PM Agree 0
MortgageBrokerNews.ca's message board is alight with stories from investors, most of whom claim they were swindled
  • Investor | 14 Dec 2018, 06:46 AM Agree 0
    When my wife lost her job she received a RRSP lumpsum payout which she placed in an RRSP fund with Manulife. Her RRSP funds were safe and received modest returns. Our accountant Imtiaz Ahmed advised us to invest in Fortress/BDMC ensuring us that this is a secure investment with guaranteed returns.

    Imtiaz claims to be a very religious person and likes to mention that he delivers cermons n mosques. To gain our trust he called me his brother and called my wife his sister.

    To cover his tracks, Imtiaz also introduced us to an investment advisor Asif Khan who supposedly facilitated this transaction. Asif khan although denies any involvement and places the blame on Imtiaz Ahmed. Imtiaz Ahmed also denies being responsible and tells us to follow up with Asif Khan.

    I guess defrauding is something Imtiaz does to his brothers and sisters.

    My wife's RRSP payout was a result of working for her employer for 15 years and seeing her lose everything makes me very sad.

    Our funds were invested in Adi Developments' Link condos in Burlington, Ontario. After completion, we received a letter stating that the funds will now be used for Link 2. That made us very upset because we had not been receiving any interest payments as promised instead our capital was also at stake now.

    Trying to contact Fortress, BDMC, FDS, Sorrenti Law etc.... was very frustrating because no one would promptly answer phone calls or emails.

    In some rare cases if we managed to get a hold of someone, we were given a runaround.

    What's so disturbing is that when I contactef SCO and FSCO, they either wouldn't respond or refuse to do anything about it with a load of B.S. remark, "we do not comment on an active investigation."

    Not having access to my wife's RRSP funds and the returns that we were promised has caused us a great deal of stress and financial and emotional hardship. Not receiving any help from any level of government, SCO and FSCO makes things even more difficult.

    Both Jawad and Vince, the two main figures behind Fortress Real Developments, had their mutual funds licenses revoked due to charging clients undisclosed fees.

    I would like to know why would FSCO license them to go into another financial business of mortgage brokerage?

    I consider it criminal negligence and FSCO should be held responsible for it. FSCO is directly responsible for putting public in a position where they would lose their life savings.

    Ontario government must take action and help investors recover their capital and promised returns.

    All companies and individuals involved in facilitating these investments must be held accountable and audited for their undisclosed assets to recover people's life savings.

    I hope Ontario government and courts will do everything to help the victims of this 960 million dollar fiasco before it's too late.
    • tb | 11 Jan 2019, 11:44 PM Agree 0
      HOW MANY OF THESE ENTITIES ARE ACTUALLY IN BED TOGETHER, MAINLY JAWAD RATHORE AND VINCE PETROZZA WITH FSCO PERHAPS, BECAUSE RATHORE AND PETROZZA WERE ALREADY PROVEN CRIMIINALS PREVIOUSLY WITH THEIR MUTUAL FUNDS LICENSES REVOKED ALONG WITH A HEFTY FINE, YET THEY WERE ALLOWED TO GO INTO ANOTHER FINANCIAL BUSINESS OF MORTGAGE BROKERAGE, THE WHOLE WORKS FOR YEARS, DESPITE LODGED COMPLAINTS WITH FSCO IN THEIR EARLY BEGINNINGS, WHEN THEY WERE JUST STARTING THIS NEW FORTRESS PONZI SCAM, YET FSCO AND HIGHER FINANCIAL REGULATORY BODIES JUST IGNORED,SAT, AND WATCHED THEM DESTROY CANADIAN FAMILIES FINANCIALLY, LOOKING THE OTHER WAY. WHY? IS THE BIG QUESTION. NOT TO MENTION THAT NOW, FAAN IS SAYING THAT WE, THE HARMED INVESTORS, ALSO HAVE TO SHOULDER THE COST OF INVESTIGATING FORTRESS, NOT OUR FINANCIAL GUARDIANS, OUR FINANCIAL REGULATORS, FSCO PRIMARILY, SO WHAT IS LEFT FOR US TO COVER OUR LOSSES FOR OUR FAMILIES DUE TO THEIR NEGLECT? IT ADDS INSULT TO INJURY, AND SALT TO AN EXISTING WOUND. ITS UNCONSCIONABLE.
  • Lucifer | 16 Dec 2018, 03:23 AM Agree 0
    Sorry Investor. The cold harsh reality is that once the company has been unwound, there will only be enough cash to pay off secured debt investors. Don't expect help from anyone. They rarely take action against anyone. Welcome to Canada.
  • John | 16 Dec 2018, 09:53 AM Agree 0
    Why do people who investments go south always expect/demand that the government step in and use tax money to bail them out. Should have stuck the money in a save GIC fully protected and received a lower rate of return. Don't cry when your greed causes you to fail.
    • Rick | 21 Jan 2019, 10:49 AM Agree 0
      John. This is why we have the FSCO to protect people from this fraud. We have all come to rely on the government for our protection against fraud. They failed.
  • Clarence Godinho | 16 Dec 2018, 04:24 PM Agree 0
    My name is Clarence Godinho. I am named in this article. I am a CFP, CLU, insurance agent and mortgage agent. Over the last few months, I have been trying to get information out that is not being shared with the public. The article mentions that I am blaming negative media for the issues, that is not entirely correct...I have a problem with selective reporting. There are many factors impacting this investment. I sent an email on October 1 to reporters that have been actively reporting on the topic. This email had supporting documents from credible sources that could help investors. The email went to reporters from Globe & Mail, CBC, TheStar, National Post, Maclean's & Mortgage Broker News. The Globe & Mail reporter, Janet McFarland replied saying, "Is there something you would like me to do with all of this material?" She has since written about 5 articles with no mention of the information. Neil Sharma of Mortgage Broker News, who wrote this article, met with me on Oct 4. He wanted to "leave David Franklin out of this" and admitted to not verifying claims before reporting...he was questioning disclosure documents but then admitted to never have read any of the documents investors went through before reporting on lack of disclosure. He offered to interview me for an article...never happened. In fact he told me he would keep me anonymous and a week later, he offered me a meeting with him and David Franklin. About 30 minutes after offering me that meeting, David Franklin sent me an email. I would receive about 50 emails from him in the next 30 days. I realized that no one would help get the information out that I had so I created a presentation to share this information. It has numerous credible sources attached including Court records. To date, investors representing 1300 investments, have provided support for this action. David Franklin names people who are with my current mortgage brokerage. None of them were part of the presentation that I put together. When people don't want information out, they try to do anything to prevent it. He thinks I will be afraid that my business may suffer if he puts my name in an article or he thinks that if he puts other people at risk, I may stop and let him get his way. None of the people named are part of what I have done and I am not telling people what to think. I am just providing information from other sources. These people claim lack of disclosure and then they want to avoid people from having information. They have added tremendous risk to Investors and are now trying to profit out of a situation they had a hand in creating. I think people should beware of being taken advantage of. Many people who support them and who want to make decisions without all the facts will attack me and many have, but many have also requested a copy of the presentation and some of these have replied providing support.

    If you want a copy of the presentation, please email:

    investorvoice@hotmail.com.

    People who have an influence over the media, control the narrative. When the media blocks you, how do you get your information out. David Franklin and his supporters are quoted in multiple articles. There are issues and there are actions that can be taken but people have to understand the whole story and then can get behind action that has the greatest likelihood of success, not just profit to lawyer's for opening as many cases that they choose to only to leave investors liable for costs when cases are not successful.
  • | 17 Dec 2018, 08:09 PM Agree 0
    Don't forget the lawyers who were providing 'independent' legal advice to investors while working for Fortress.

    A main takeaway: Lawyers should no longer be regulated by the Law Society ( self-regulated)
    They need to be regulated by government.
  • Mortgage Investor | 19 Dec 2018, 11:42 AM Agree 0
    With all due respect to "Investor" above, the only "guaranteed" returns are on GICs, gov't bonds or term deposits where the rate is specified in the contract. When your accountant said the returns were guaranteed, did he place that guarantee in writing? If not, then he can simply deny having said that and refer you to the disclosure documents. Did you read the disclosure documents in their entirety? Investor/Lender Disclosure statements for brokered transactions (required by FSCO) all contain disclaimers that mortgage investments are considered higher risk and are not guaranteed. If your broker failed to provide proper disclosure statements that you signed off on, then you have a legal case. If however you signed those disclosure documents but failed to read them thoroughly before investing... well, I am afraid then the fault is the investor's for not having researched the investment properly and simply relying on verbal assurances from a 3rd party. The investor must have, at some point, given written directions to make the investment, so it comes down to who co-signed those documents: his accountant, the investment advisor or a broker? The courts won't be interested in a he said / she said argument; they want to see the paper trail.

    FSCO can not regulate poor investor judgement, but hopefully they can at least take those responsible to task for this fiasco. I do not support bail outs, but I would support the gov't providing legal counsel so that any remediation goes directly to the investors.
  • Mortgage Broker Store | 23 Dec 2018, 02:12 PM Agree 0
    Fortress has left a black mark on our industry. Many investors felt that investing in mortgages was safe. Fortress has shown that bad management coupled with high risk deals usually result in financial loss.

    • Maggie | 19 Jan 2019, 04:36 PM Agree 0
      Fortress are not the only ones. Hi-Rise Capital are equally guilty of fraud. They just haven't been in the news-YET. A complaint against them has been made to the RCMP.
  • Clarence Godinho | 11 Jan 2019, 08:22 PM Agree 0
    Video 1: The Unreported Facts
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IicRXVl-S8M

    Video 2: Inaccuracies Revealed
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fukiwgL3EnA

    Video 3: Influencers
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Fb7J7QcR7JU
  • Sean Paterson | 13 Jan 2019, 03:09 PM Agree 0
    Don't cry now
    Pure greed on both sides
    It could have gone the other way - good return on investment
    That's the chance you took
    Now you've learnt a life lesson
    • | 11 Feb 2019, 12:51 PM Agree 0
      dumm ass its the lies that were told to the investors. if it was a legit investment that went wrong, well then buyer beware but when you are told lies on it being safe and no risk, that is a whole new ball game.
  • Maggie | 19 Jan 2019, 04:12 PM Agree 0
    Not all investments are entirely the fault of the investor. I didn't invest in Fortress but I could have just as easily invested in them as Hi-Rise Capital who I did invest in. It wasn't out of greed. In fact I had no desire to make this investment. I was trying to renew my second mortgage with Northwood investments. My broker Karen Parrott, who I thought was my friend (we originally met socially) was the one who initiated the investment. I did have my choice of properties which is why I say it could just as easily have been Fortress. Karen told me that the investor wanted me to borrow this money, added to my mortgage, and made it quite clear that if I did not I would not get my renewal. I felt I had no choice if I wanted my mortgage renewed. When I asked her about risk she assured me the company was large and it was a totally safe investment. This is obviously not the case. The project should have been completed last year but shovels have not even been put in the ground. Investors have received no interest since October of 2016. Hi-Rise Capital has offered nothing but excuse after excuse. I have since learned that given my financial circumstance suggesting this investment let alone forcing me into it or no mortgage is is at best improper at worse illegal. I will be filing a complaint against Karen and Northwood mortgage on Monday. I have already contacted the RCMP and the press about Hi-Rise Capital.
  • Maggie | 19 Jan 2019, 04:39 PM Agree 0
    What happens when you don't feel you have a choice if you want your mortgage renewed as was my situation with Northwood Mortgage. I invested with Hi-Rise Capital. It just as easily could have been Fortress. I had no interest in making this investment, particularly since I had to add the money onto my mortgage to do it, but I felt I had no choice if I wanted to keep my house.
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