Complaints & Guidance

For Immediate Release

February 6, 2012

MSC Warns the Public about Possible Advanced Fee Scheme

Winnipeg - The Manitoba Securities Commission (MSC) is warning the public about a potential overseas advanced fee scheme using a Manitoba address. In a typical advanced fee scheme, investors who own shares in a legitimate company are offered inflated prices to sell their shares. Once the investor agrees to sell their shares they are asked to wire money to an offshore bank account to cover the costs of the sale. The perpetrators of the scheme withdraw the money and are never heard from again. The investor loses their money with little or no chance of recovery.

It has been reported to the MSC that Goldman and Lyle Consulting Group (Goldman and Lyle) is soliciting shareholders of various legitimate publically traded companies in the United Kingdom. The MSC has received complaints from investors who have been targeted.

Goldman and Lyle has been using a business address, 322 Smith Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, and local phone 204-272-2353 and fax number 204-480-4825. The address is a parking lot and the phone numbers, although appearing to be in Manitoba are untraceable overseas lines.

A similar scheme was recently conducted under the name , Drexel-Bearns Consulting Group, which is listed on the Financial Services Authority’s (the UK securities regulator) Unauthorized Firms list. The websites used by Goldman and Lyle as well as Drexel-Bearns are virtually identical.

Goldman and Lyle & Drexel-Bearns are not registered to trade in Manitoba.

MSC Senior Investigator Jason Roy advises, "we have seen Manitoba investors targeted by numerous advanced fee schemes in the last couple of years. This is the first time we have seen the perpetrators use a Manitoba parking lot as an address. This is a good example of why investors need to be cautious and do their due diligence, especially when receiving unsolicited phone calls."

The MSC is warning Manitobans to exercise caution. You can take the following steps to protect yourself against becoming a victim of investment fraud:

  • Do not send money to someone you only know from an unsolicited phone call.
  • Do not give out personal information.
  • Research the investment.
  • Check registration status with the Manitoba Securities Commission.
  • Report scams

Manitoba investors that are targeted by companies looking to buy your shares are asked to contact 204-945-2548;or 1-800-655-5244 and ask to speak with an investigator. Investors in jurisdictions outside Manitoba are asked to contact their local regulator and report the activity.

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Ainsley Cunningham
Manitoba Securities Commission