MortgageBrokerNews.ca published a story last month in which investors spoke out against Fortress Real Developments, and the message boards have been alight ever since.
The overwhelming majority of posters on the message board are other investors sharing stories about financial losses suffered by investing in Fortress Real projects. There have been many questions about class-action lawsuits, and some posters have even mobilized to form a private Facebook group called “Investors” of Fortress Developments and BDMC.
Here are some of the posts. Ron Butler wrote:
"This is what is wrong with the Regulator in Ontario. Every single one of the mortgage agents, brokers, brokerages and Principal Brokers of those organizations who sold Fortress products or referred clients to Fortress and received payment for same should ALL be under investigation and really should be suspended from operations during the investigation."
Devastated Customer wrote:
"We too have invested over $215,000 with Fortress since June 2012. The project should have been completed April 2016. I have been checking with Fortress (now bankrupt) and FAAN Mortgage in Toronto. Still nothing! No one has answers. We were told we would be issued a T5 slip to show we received RRIF money from the trust company (even though no money will be given to us) and we have to claim we received the money when we file our taxes. What nonsense—that`s fraud!!! We do not know what will happen as we really need that money since we are retired. Someone help us, please!!"
Scammed Investor wrote:
"I am struggling with depression and anxiety. I feel abused, robbed, fooled. I don't know what to do and how much more I can bear this pain. How can FSCO allow Fortress to run the biggest scam in Canada and still keep their eyes closed for the damage done. Nobody is actively working to recoup our money."
Scammed Investor also wrote of the mortgage agents and brokers who sold the mortgages:
"They were purely motivated by high commissions (greed) and capitalizing on unsuspecting mom and pop investors who were looking for higher yield on their savings over what the banks were paying at the time."
A poster who goes by the moniker Investor Voice wrote:
"There is a lot of inaccurate information being shared consistently by the same people. Most of this misinformation adds further harm to investors. Investors don't know what to believe. A lot of the reality is not being shared. Attempts were made to get the information out. The media that has been reporting on this for some time ignored information that was sent to them on October 1, 2018. This information was sent with supporting information, including court documents. One reporter that did engage acknowledged reporting information provided by a person on this forum without verifying the information first. This reporter also acknowledged reporting about lack of disclosure without ever reviewing any of the disclosure documents. This adds risk to Investors."
"Investor Voice claims to be acting on behalf of investors, but maintains negative press is to blame for Fortress Real’s—and, by extension, investors’—misfortunes. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Investor Voice has drawn the ire of other posters, especially from lawyer David Franklin, one of the thread’s most active posters."
"Who is Investor Voice? I have learned that Clarence Godinho, a FSCO licensed mortgage agent, M13000269 with Solid Ground Mortgage Solutions Inc. link to its website below, is the Investor Voice or one of the Investor Voice parties. Why is he, or other parties involved with him, providing information that is claimed to be of benefit to Fortress investors? Are they concerned about their liability to the investors that they sold Fortress mortgages to and are trying to delay their investors from suing them, as commented upon by Ron Butler in previous posts?"
"When you look at the website you will learn that Arif Khan, the Municipal Councillor for Ward 8 in Barrie, is the principal broker for Solid Ground Mortgage Solutions Inc. and Hal Yesovitch is an agent with that brokerage. Both of them sold Fortress mortgages. Hal Yesovitch was with FDS Broker Services Inc., that just recently filed for bankruptcy. Other agents with this brokerage listed on its website are: Klaudia Nabialek, Chris Partridge, Kissondra Niemeyer, Robyn Latchman, Michael Del Bel and Jeffrey Goodman. Did any of these agents sell you Fortress mortgages? Arif Khan previously had a brokerage called Strategic Capital Network Inc. Arif Khan was a Barrie Councillor when Fortress mortgages on Barrie projects were being sold to investors. Did he have a conflict of interest?"
The original story concerned the plights of two investors in Fortress Real Developments projects whose identities MortgageBrokerNews.ca agreed to withhold. One of them is nearing retirement, and with a wife and three children, he wonders what will become of his family’s future. The other investor is an Ontario Provincial Police officer.
Both investors maintain that the risks of investing in the Fortress Real projects weren’t communicated by the agents who sold them the investments, one of whom is Jenny Hong of Mortgage Alliance Lending Superstore whose husband is a Toronto Police Service officer and recruited other officers into investing.
The original story can be read here: https://www.mortgagebrokernews.ca/news/investors-speak-out-against-fortress-real-250191.aspx