QCOSTARICA – The Nova Scotia Securities Commission (Canada) issued a temporary cease-trade order against two financial specialists and a Costa Rica-based company for alleged “boiler room tactics.”
Stratus Financial Group International (Stratus) and financial specialists Magnus Torgenson and John Westbrook are not registered to sell securities in this province and were the subject of three complaints in Nova Scotia.
The company’s representatives allegedly tried to pressure unidentified Nova Scotians during phone calls to invest in natural gas futures and forex (foreign exchange) options, the commission said in a news release issued Monday.
In some situations, companies call lists of people to pressure them into “buying highly speculative, and sometimes fraudulent, investments,” it said.
“Investors who fall prey to the high-pressure, now-or-never script used by these kind of representatives are at significant risk of losing a lot of money,” Heidi Schedler, enforcement counsel for the commission, said in the news release.
“We’re concerned for the financial safety of Nova Scotians and want the public to know that they can always hang up the phone and take the time to make sure that whoever is contacting them is registered with a securities commission.”
The Financial and Consumer Services Commission in New Brunswick issued a similar cease-trade order against the company and Ken Powers, a self-identified representative of Stratus, earlier this year.
Advisories have also been issued by security commissions in Manitoba and Ontario warning investors about the company, which is also not registered to sell securities or commodities futures in those provinces.
The Nova Scotia order will remain in effect for 15 days.