Fraud charges laid against co-founders of the Portus Group of Companies

    TORONTO, Sept. 26 /CNW/ - The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have

    Boaz Manor age 33, of Toronto but presently residing in Israel and
    Michael Mendelson age 41, of Toronto.

    Boaz Manor and Michael Mendelson co-founders of Portus Alternative Asset
Management Inc., Portus Asset Management Inc., and other Canadian and offshore
entities forming part of the Portus Group of Companies, have been charged with
twelve counts of Fraud Over $5,000, Money Laundering and Possession of
Property Obtained by Crime. Boaz Manor has also been charged with an
additional count of Fraud Over $5,000, two further counts of Money Laundering
and one count of Obstructing Justice.
    During its operation between January 2003 and March 2005, the Portus
Group of Companies managed approximately 26,000 "domestic" investors, the
majority of whom were Canadian, who had invested approximately
CDN $750,000,000. It also managed approximately 700 "foreign" investors, the
majority of whom lived in Canada, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Bermuda, who had
invested approximately USD $52,800,000.
    Allegations are that funds from domestic investors were fraudulently used
to operate the business in contrast to its disclosure and without investor's
knowledge. For instance, a portion of these funds were used to pay management
fees, performance fees, referral fees, trailer fees and salaries. Police
further allege that Boaz Manor defrauded the "foreign" investors by not
investing the USD funds deposited with the Portus Group of Companies.
    The investigation is international in nature as evidence has been
gathered from a number of countries around the world. The 27 month criminal
investigation was a joint effort between the RCMP Greater Toronto Area
Commercial Crime Section and the Ontario Provincial Police Anti-Rackets
Section. "Investigations like this require the cooperation and support of many
agencies both domestically and abroad," stated Inspector Brian Verheul, the
officer in charge of RCMP Greater Toronto Area Commercial Crime Section. "It's
only through partnerships which leverage on expertise at the local, national
and international levels that enable the police to complete investigations
with this kind of complexity and scope in a timely manner". "The RCMP values
and appreciates our partnership with the Ontario Provincial Police in this
investigation as well as the assistance of international authorities in
Switzerland, Austria, the Bailiwick of Jersey, Hong Kong, Turks & Caicos,
England, Israel, the United States, Bermuda, Italy, Panama and Cyprus. The
cooperation received from the Ontario Securities Commission, KPMG as the court
appointed Receiver and numerous Canadian Financial Institutions, enhanced the
ability of the police to advance the investigation."
    "Any fraud related to investments and the investment industry has a broad
impact," added Superintendent Dave Truax, Director of the OPP Anti-Rackets
Section. "It affects public and private investors and creates a negative
perception of the investment industry. Equally important is its impact on our
communities. It has a detrimental effect on economic integrity and shakes
investor confidence, with frauds causing jobs to be lost and businesses to be
shut down. Sometimes, it even wipes out entire life savings."
    Michael Mendelson is scheduled for a first appearance at Old City Hall
Court on September 26th while an arrest warrant has been issued for Boaz

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Sergeant Michele Paradis, NCO
i/c RCMP "O" Division Corporate Communications and Media Relations, (416)
715-2375 (Pager), (416) 992-4409 (mobile)

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