MONTREAL, April 1 /CNW Telbec/ - The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is urging investors to be cautious about Heritage Benefits Financial Services Inc. ("Heritage"). This company has been cold-calling foreign investors in particular with offers to invest in the metals market.
At this point, it is not known whether Heritage has contacted investors in Québec. However, the AMF has reason to believe that this firm may be operating out of Montréal. Heritage is not registered with the AMF to carry on business as a securities dealer or adviser and is therefore not authorized to solicit Québec investors.
Heritage uses a typical boiler room strategy. The AMF is therefore cautioning investors in Québec and elsewhere to be on their guard if approached by this firm or its representatives.
Heritage solicits investors to purchase metals futures contracts and open an account with the company. Investors are subsequently instructed to transfer funds to the account of Regal and Archer LLC held at the Universal Bank Public LTD. Heritage then calls them back to tell them that their accounts are overdrawn following several margin trades, or that an employee, who has since been dismissed, misappropriated funds from their accounts. Investors are told that they must make an additional transfer to the UNVKCY2N account held in the name of Regal and Archer LLC at Universal Bank Public LTD in Cyprus to cover administration fees and commissions before they can recover their funds. Investors have not heard from Heritage for several months now.
Based on documents investors received, the following individuals may be linked to Heritage Benefits Financial Services: Matthew R. Kennedy, Pieter McNeil, Daniel Wright, Emily Parnell, Martin Simon, William Buckner, Thomas Geithner and Mark A. Johnson. None of these individuals are registered with the AMF.
Advice for investors
The AMF reminds investors to investigate before investing and to always ensure that the firms and individuals offering to act as intermediaries have the necessary approvals by checking the Register of firms and individuals authorized to practice on the AMF website or calling the Information Centre.
Consumers who believe that they have been targeted by a fraudulent scheme should contact the AMF Information Centre.
The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec's financial sector.
Sylvain Théberge: 514-940-2176
Québec City: 418-525-0337
SOURCE Autorité des marchés financiers
For further information: For further information: Media only: Sylvain Théberge, (514) 940-2176; Information Centre: Québec City: (418) 525-0337, Montréal: (514) 395-0337, Toll-free: 1-877-525-0337; www.lautorite.qc.ca