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March 8, 2012

Ponzi Victims to Get About Half Money Bank Under Settlement with RBC (CANADA)

By Sidhartha Banerjee
Mar 06 2012

Earl Jones The Royal Bank of Canada has reached a $17-million settlement with victims of convicted financial fraudster Earl Jones.
MONTREAL — For scores of elderly victims who lost their savings in a multimillion-dollar Quebec pyramid scheme, the announcement of a settlement to recoup about half of their losses offers some relief.
Victims of financial fraudster Earl Jones have reached a $17-million out-of-court settlement in their class-action lawsuit against the Royal Bank of Canada, both sides announced Tuesday.
Reached after several months of discussions, the settlement was welcome news for the son of one victim.
“I can’t speak for the people that have been defrauded and I’m sure it might not be sufficient, but I think in time it will become more clear to these people,” said Kevin Curran, whose mother was bilked out of her savings by Jones.
“I can understand that (the wording of) RBC’s statement might not give them complete closure, but it’s a start.”
Much of the money initially lost by Jones’ clients was held at an RBC branch on Montreal’s West Island. Victims claimed the bank was negligent and should have been able to act on irregular behaviour from Jones — something the bank denies.
The bank said in a statement that the proposed settlement amount will not be final until the court approval process is complete, and said the settlement is not material to RBC earnings.

“Considering that the average age is 75 and most of them are senior citizens living on pensions with no money left, we had to act in their best interest,” Davis said.
The settlement will be presented to a judge next week and a claims process will follow. Victims should be getting a cheque in the mail within several months. Until then, the committee representing victims will remain active.
“We’ll be happy when everyone gets a cheque. That’s when we’ll really close up shop,” Davis said.
The Canadian Press

Abridged
SOURCE:     The Record
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