RCMP's GTA Financial Crime Unit charges Toronto man in international $15M Ponzi scheme
TORONTO, Aug. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - As result of a joint investigation with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), the GTA Financial Crime Unit of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have charged Kevin ZIETSOFF, age 41, of Toronto, Ontario with one count of fraud over $5,000 contrary to 380(1)(a) of the Criminal Code of Canada.
The joint investigation began in February of 2013. The RCMP alleges that from January 1, 2006, to December 31, 2012, ZIETSOFF operated a Ponzi- fraud scheme where he raised over $15 million CDN selling securities.
It is typical in a Ponzi-fraud for the suspect to target family, friends and associates. In this case, it is alleged that ZIETSOFF defrauded more than 50 individuals. The victims were led to believe that ZIETSOFF was a successful investor and were guaranteed a high rate of return on their investments. The RCMP has determined that almost all of his victims' funds were lost in highly speculative futures/commodities trading. Also common in Ponzi-frauds, the money received from new investors was used to pay previous investors to give the illusion of a positive investment performance.
Although most of ZIETSOFF's victims were Ontario residents, 13 were American residents primarily living in the state of Arizona. ZIETSOFF is not a licensed investment advisor nor is he registered to trade in securities or derivatives in Canada or elsewhere.
"The RCMP and our partner agencies are committed to maintaining investor confidence in the integrity of the public markets" stated Superintendent Dave BELLAMY, the Officer in Charge of the RCMP's Financial Crime Units in Toronto. He added "The economic stability of Canada continues to be one of our main priorities and our partnership with the OSC significantly contributes to this priority."
The RCMP would like to acknowledge the assistance of the Arizona Corporation Commission in this investigation.
ZIETSOFF is scheduled to appear at Old City Hall Court house in Toronto on August 23, 2013. ZIETSOFF has been cooperative with the authorities throughout this investigation.
The OSC is expected to issue a separate statement of allegations in this matter.
SOURCE Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceFor further information:
Sgt. Richard Rollings
RCMP "O" Division Media Relations