Securities Investor Warnings
Montréal – The Autorité des marchés financiers (the “AMF”) is urging investors to be cautious about Land Bankers International, Sierra Madre Holdings and Bonzac Asociados S.A. de C.V., which operate out of Mexico. The AMF reminds investors that they should always make sure that the companies offering securities have received the necessary AMF approvals.
The above companies have been soliciting investors in Saskatchewan by phone and e-mail, tempting them with investment opportunities in the Mexican real estate market by offering to distribute securities that will be listed in 2008 and whose value would double.
These companies are not registered with the AMF or any other securities regulator in Canada. Therefore, the AMF recommends that solicited investors be very cautious. Anyone contacted by any of these companies is urged not to provide personal information and to immediately advise the AMF’s Information Centre. At this point it is not known whether Québec investors have been approached.
The AMF wishes to point out that individuals who want to invest in financial products or investments that are not authorized for distribution in Québec or who want to do business with a market intermediary who is not registered with the AMF are not protected, and the recourses available to them are complex.
“We remind investors that they should be on their guard if someone promises them exceptional returns or says that a security will soon be listed on an exchange,” said Anne-Marie Poitras, Superintendent, AMF Client Services and Compensation. ”These statements could hide an attempt to defraud.”
Ms. Poitras offered the following advice to investors:
- Contact the AMF Information Centre to make sure that the company is authorized to make public distributions and that the representative recommending the investment is licensed to practice in Québec.
- Ask for written confirmation of information given to you verbally and research the companies in which you want to invest.
- Don’t invest if the prospectus or financial statements are not available, even if you’re promised “they’ll be available soon.”
- Gather information on the company: its history, operations, assets, management, potential risk factors and how the money raised will be used.
- Get a second opinion, and do some research—even if the information comes from someone you know. Well-intentioned people can fall victim to fraud, too.
- Be suspicious when strangers offer you returns that seem too good to be true.
For more information, read the AMF brochure Watch out for securities fraud. It will help you recognize several types of illegal tactics, and provides tips to keep you on guard against scammers.
If you believe you have been the victim of an illegal distribution, contact the AMF’s Information Centre.
The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec’s financial sector.
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Frédéric Alberro (514) 940-2176
Québec City: 418-525-0337
Montréal : 514-395-0337