The RCMP have launched a manhunt for two men accused of running a boiler room scam that allegedly defrauded victims in 12 different countries.
Alan Zer, 48, and Rony Spektor, 51, have been charged with fraud after the RCMP alleged they told investors they were operating a web-based foreign exchange trading business, but instead transferred client money to their own accounts and did not conduct the promised trades. The men were directors of InvestTechFX Technologies Inc.
RCMP Sergeant Richard Rollings said police have issued warrants for the arrest of Mr. Zer and Mr. Spektor, but do not know where they are. Their last known location was Israel, Sgt. Rollings said, but they may have left that country.
"Our investigators are trying to locate these two fellows, so it's a possibility they are in Canada, but it's quite possible they have moved around the world," he said in an interview Tuesday.
RCMP say victims lost over $4-million. In addition to victims in Canada, others were in England, the United States, Taiwan, the Philippines, Spain, Hungary, Israel, Germany, the Czech Republic, Russia and Australia.
"We anticipate more victims will come forward once this gets out," Sgt. Rollings said.
The RCMP allege Mr. Zer and Mr. Spektor operated their web site between Jan. 1, 2008, and Nov. 25 this year from an office in Toronto. When RCMP searched the office, police said they found evidence "consistent with boiler room activities" and arrested three people working at the site, but Mr. Zer and Mr. Spektor were not there.
Victims who tried to get their money back before the company shut down were deferred with "false, misleading and deceitful justifications," the RCMP said in a release.
Sgt. Rollings said one of the most striking things about the case was the professional-quality web site run by InvestTechFX, which includes educational information on foreign exchange trading, technical descriptions of the firm's purported trading platform, links to access account information and even new articles about foreign exchange markets.
People with information about the case are being asked to contact the RCMP's financial crime unit for the Greater Toronto Area.