Investor Alert: ASC warns public about Bristol Financial (Offshore) LLC
August 3, 2016
The Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) is warning Alberta investors to exercise caution if solicited by Bristol Financial (Offshore) LLC (Bristol), a purported investment firm with offices in New York, NY and Luxembourg, Belgium. To date, Alberta investors have reported investing more than $2,000,000 with Bristol and, after repeated requests, being unable to recoup their money.
The public should be aware that Bristol is not registered to sell securities or derivatives in Alberta, is not registered to do business in Alberta, and that its actions are not in compliance with Alberta securities laws.
There are several "red flags" common to illegal investment schemes present in Bristol's promotions:
Lack of registration. With limited exceptions, any firm or individual selling securities or derivatives to investors in Alberta must be registered with the ASC.
Funds are being sent offshore. When money is moved offshore, it makes it more difficult, if not impossible to get it back. Bristol claims to have an office in New York, but funds are actually sent to accounts in Costa Rica.
High-pressure sales tactics. Being pressured to make a decision on the spot without the time to research an opportunity can lead to poor investment decisions. Bristol representatives are cold-calling Alberta investors and employing high-pressure sales tactics to convince them to invest. Once an investment is made, representatives continue to call until additional investments are made.
If you are considering an investment opportunity through a company that is not registered, be sure to understand whether the company is complying with applicable securities laws. The ASC encourages all investors to check the registration status of any person or company selling investments to Canadians using the Canadian Securities Administrators' National Registration Search database: www.aretheyregistered.ca.
The RCMP has requested the ASC to ask anyone approached by Bristol to contact their local RCMP detachment.
The ASC is the regulatory agency responsible for administering the province's securities laws. It is entrusted with fostering a fair and efficient capital market in Alberta and with protecting investors. As a member of the Canadian Securities Administrators, the ASC works to improve, coordinate and harmonize the regulation of Canada's capital markets.
Alberta Securities Commission