Settlement reached in pyramid case

AP News
Posted: Mar 06, 2012 11:06 AM
Settlement reached in pyramid case

Victims of a pyramid scheme run by a Canadian former financial advisor have reached a US$17.1 million (CA$17 million) out-of-court settlement of their class-action lawsuit with the Royal Bank of Canada.

The case involves Earl Jones, who pleaded guilty two years ago to fraud charges after duping 158 former clients out of about US$50.3 million dollars (CA$50 million) in the scheme.

Much of the money lost by Jones' clients was held at an RBC branch on Montreal's West Island.

The victims argued the bank was aware of irregularities in the Jones account but did nothing. RBC has denied this.

The bank said Tuesday that the settlement seeks to address some of the financial difficulties the plaintiffs faced as a result of entrusting Jones with their financial affairs.