Business
Investors meet over claims of being mislead in $160M deal

Credits: REUTERS

JENNA MCMURRAY | QMI AGENCY

CALGARY -- Hundreds of investors are expected to meet Monday to discuss legal action against companies they say misled them.

Kevin McGuigan, the lawyer representing the group, said up to $160 million is believed to have been invested in approximately 20 properties marketed as safe and secure by Calgary-based Platinum Equities Inc. and other companies.

"I have hundreds of clients and they're all telling me that they were misled," McGuigan said, adding it is believed there are up to 2,200 investors -- mostly from Alberta, but also B.C. and Ontario

It's alleged some mortgages ended up with extremely onerous terms for some investors, he said, adding in some cases the properties were foreclosed.

As well, McGuigan said, money may have been transferred from some projects to others.

"We had to take the action so that investors were not pitted against each other," he said.

A statement of claim was filed in June, though amendments are being made and are expected to be filed within the next couple of weeks.

It's believed no criminal charges or notices of hearing from the Alberta Securities Commission have been filed.

John Blair, a partner with Borden Ladner Gervais (BLG), the law firm representing the Platinum defendants, said a statement of defence will not be filed until the amendments are made.

"We find it quite confusing," Blair said of the current claim. "We need some additional particulars before we can defend."

Blair said a general allegation is there was a conspiracy between two sets of defendants.

"We think it's going to be very, very difficult for them to prove any kind of a scheme," he said, adding market factors played a role in the issues at hand.

"Investments losing money doesn't give anyone a cause of action, it gives them a right to be disappointed."

Platinum Investors will hold a town hall meeting at Southside Victory Church at 7 p.m. Monday. 
Registration begins at 6:15 p.m. and there will be a $5 charge at the door. Those planning on attending are asked to RSVP to investor.platinum@gmail.com or 403-450-7708.

Investors have until Sept. 30 to join the lawsuit.

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