Filipina in Canada arrested for Ponzi scheme

Members of the Filipino community are the main victims of a $1.8-million Edmonton Ponzi scheme tied to a former Workers' Compensation Board employee, a 42-year-old Filipino wife and mother.

"The loss to them is tremendous. The level of victimization traverses Canadian borders into the Philippines as well," said economic crimes Staff Sgt. Dan Service, noting the accused worked alone.

Following a six-month probe, Edmonton city police have now charged Carmelita Del Rosario.

According to Pamela Roth of The Edmonton Sun, the scheme bilked 49 Edmonton area investors out of more than $1.8 million. Investigators say the fraudulent investments occurred between February 2009 and May 2012 when the accused was employed with WCB Alberta. Victims were told they were investing in an employee investment plan, even though there is no such program at WCB.

A variety of investments were made, ranging anywhere from $2,000 to $35,000, with victims lead to believe they would receive a return between 5% and 13%.

What typically happens in a Ponzi scheme, explains Service, is the money that comes from the first investor goes to pay the second investor, and so on. But the money eventually dries up and the scheme comes to a crashing halt.

When the victims stopped receiving investment returns in this case, Service said they went to police as a group.

Only a small amount of the money has been recovered.

"I don't suspect they'll ever receive any money from the person responsible and will they be able to recover financially? I certainly hope so, but it's a difficult road," said Service.

On her LinkedIn profile, Del Rosario states that she's a finance analyst at Millard Health with WCB Alberta. A spokesperson for WCB confirmed Del Rosario was employed in a minor clerical role, but said she is no longer works for the company.

Mandy Servito, president of the Council of the Edmonton Filipino Association (CEFA), was shocked to hear about the allegations.

She said it's common for many people in the Filipino community to work a full time-job and have a part-time job on the side to earn more money to send back home to family members in the Philippines.

"We usually protect each other so that's shocking to me. We are people who are very trusting," said Servito, who does not know the accused. "We are so blessed here and we never forget our place back home."

Del Rosario was arrested March 19 and charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000. She is scheduled to appear in court April 30.

Filipina in Canada arrested for Ponzi scheme Filipina in Canada arrested for Ponzi scheme Reviewed by Leun Sotragues on 1:19 AM Rating: 5

No comments

Connect With Us