ASC Orders Lifetime Ban Against Red Deer Residents For Mexican Investment Scheme

    CALGARY, Nov. 7 /CNW/ - An Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) panel has
permanently banned two men who operated in the Red Deer area from trading in
the Alberta capital market for their role in a Mexican investment scheme that
took as much as $4 million of Alberta investors' money.
    The ASC panel found that from 2000 to 2004, Larry Kenneth McLeod and
Forbes John McLeod encouraged Albertans to invest in Topsis Investments Canada
Inc. securities. According to witnesses, the McLeods led prospective investors
to believe that Topsis had contracts to supply a large number (typically
167,801) of prefabricated homes for displaced or low-income families in
Mexico, supposedly generating for the investor an astonishing $1,678,010 for
each $10,000 invested.
    In July 2007, an ASC panel ruled that the McLeods and sales agent Delmer
Allen Watt engaged in an illegal distribution of Topsis shares and that the
McLeods made misrepresentations in contravention of the Alberta Securities
Act. In that ruling the panel found that the McLeods "induced investors to
hand over money - often in relatively significant amounts - to what one
investor witness rightly characterized as a scam." In its decision on sanction
the ASC panel said, "evidence was clear that Topsis had no contracts to supply
homes to Mexico" and that "none of the investor witnesses has received any
return on, or of, their investment. All of the money invested in Topsis
securities has apparently been spent."
    The ASC panel has permanently barred the McLeods from trading in
securities or using Alberta securities law exemptions and prohibited them from
being directors or officers of any issuer for 25 years. The panel also ordered
the McLeods to pay administrative penalties of $100,000 each, as well as costs
totalling $60,000 to the ASC. Watt was ordered to pay $20,000 in
administrative penalties and costs and is barred from trading in securities or
using Alberta securities law exemptions for 10 years. The panel also
prohibited the trade of Topsis Investments Canada Inc. securities until such
time, if ever, as a prospectus in respect of Topsis securities is filed with
the Commission.
    The panel also cautioned Alberta investors. "If an investment opportunity
seems too good to be true, it probably is. Walk away." It noted that the slim
chance of missing a fabulous investment is vastly outweighed by the greater
likelihood of losing the money you invested.
    A copy of the first and second part of the decision in its entirety is
posted on the ASC website at

    The ASC is the regulatory agency responsible for administering the
province's securities laws. It is entrusted to foster a fair and efficient
capital market in Alberta and to protect investors. As a member of the
Canadian Securities Administrators, the ASC works to improve, coordinate and
harmonize the regulation of Canada's capital markets.

For further information:

For further information: For Media Inquiries: Mark Dickey, Senior
Communications Advisor, (403) 297-4481,; For Investor
Inquiries: ASC Public Inquiries, Toll Free 1-877-355-4488

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