arrow10 Comments
  1. Jon D.
    Dec 02 - 1:23 pm

    Fraud based on Family or Affinity is utterly devastating. If the initiating member had any idea the harm they causing by understanding the disease they are about to pass on they would have immediately balked at the idea.

  2. Ben
    Dec 02 - 3:08 pm

    Boy oh boy, what a lot of lives ruined. Very sad.

  3. Bryce
    Dec 02 - 3:44 pm

    High return investments are so tempting to elderly people. If they haven’t saved enough they may not enough to maintain their homes or other expenses. No one wants to be able to go to their children for money. I tell my parents regularly that they had better not leave us a cent when they die and I ask how they are doing financially. It really is a taboo subject most of the time but I figure if we can get over that they will be comfortable talking about it if something comes up.

  4. DividendMan
    Dec 02 - 4:01 pm

    Yep – definitely a crime. However, I disagree with “outrageous that crimes such as this that are so devastating on so many people does not seem to result in punishment that fits the severity of the crime.” Sure, but the scammers behind bars for a while – but in the end it should be buyer beware.

    I also don’t equate losing a lot of money with “devastating peoples lives”. Your standard of living might go down, but there hasn’t been any loss of life or limb.

    • Canadian Capitalist
      Dec 02 - 4:57 pm

      @DividendMan: I disagree. In financial frauds such as this, victims are overwhelmingly elderly people. They invest their life savings, move their retirement accounts and leverage their home equity to buy into this fraud. At least, one victim is said to have committed suicide. Personally, I think 20 years or so of hard time is appropriate.

  5. Andy
    Dec 02 - 7:02 pm

    I had heard another unique feature of this scam. Apparently, the IFL would lead members to believe that Revenue Canada was out to get them, and while they were not doing anything illegal, the government wanted to collect taxes from ‘the little guy’ that the wealthy did not pay.
    This had the effect of freezing out investigators. It took years to gather evidence, as ‘facilitators’ would not talk. Given that the whole fraud was predicated on the idea that the rich had secrets to wealth, it is not surprising that victims also fell for the evil government line as well.
    No doubt it was a maliciously clever group.

  6. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jonathan Chevreau and Canadian Capitalist, jessica green. jessica green said: The Institute for Financial Learning Ponzi Scheme | Canadian …: Potential investors were invited to “Wealth B.. http://bit.ly/8TiZNv [...]

  7. Mike
    Dec 03 - 4:56 pm

    Not wanting to sound too harsh, but I have to ask – “What is it with the ‘elderly’ continuing to fall for these types of too good to be true frauds?”

    These people built the country, ran our companies, etc, etc. they can’t all be stupid.

    A previous post may have inadvertently hit upon a reason for this:

    “If they haven’t saved enough they may not enough to maintain their homes or other expenses.”

    If that’s accurately reflects the mindset and financial situation of these people then that’s not an ‘elderly’ issue – it’s a run of the mill ‘greed’ problem.

  8. [...] Capitalist points out The Institute for Financial Learning Ponzi Scheme which is just a sinister way to steal money from [...]

  9. [...] In the fall, the Calgary-based Institute for Financial Learning, an alleged $100-million or more Ponzi scheme, made the news when two of its operators were charged with fraud and theft. And of course the Earl [...]

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