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  • Tues. May 16 - Ponzi scheme charges against local mortgage broker

Tues. May 16 - Ponzi scheme charges against local mortgage broker

Plus, the property tax increase in the Saanich budget and more

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Good morning !

Yesterday’s poll showed that most of you both enjoy and escape the heat. Just 16% of voters said they get outside and enjoy the sun, 22% said they stay inside until it cools down, with the remaining 62% voting for a bit of both.

The Capital Daily Team

Legal trouble for local investment firms

Victoria broker denies Ponzi scheme charges

My Mortgage Auction Corp. is in receivership following a claim of nearly $18M owed to an investor, and 500 people attended the receiver’s town hall last week on the situation.

MMAC assets found so far include a Langford five-bed home, a Las Vegas six-bed home, and under $300 in the bank. But there is no firm evidence so far of $168M in loans receivable that were claimed as assets—and no sign of where exactly Greg Martel is, though he has spoken out to claim his company is not a Ponzi scheme, just overwhelmed by rapid growth.

BCSC puts temporary order on Victoria-based firm

A Victoria-based “self described” investment firm For The People FX Inc. (FTPFX) was placed under a temporary order May 12 by the executive director of the BC Securities Commission (BCSC), following evidence that the firm and three individuals have violated the registration and prospectus requirements of the Securities Act.

The firm and trio—Robert George Henry Tyrer, Athanasios Zacharopoulos, and Bruce Dudman—are now barred from promotional activities and from disseminating any information or record relating to any FTPFX securities or investment advisory services. FTPFX securities also may not be traded.

The temporary order expires May 27, but a commission panel could extend it until a hearing and a decision. The BCSC said that the temporary order was made because the time it would take to hold a hearing could cause risk to the public since the subjects kept violating the Securities Act despite a caution letter in 2022.

Capital Bulletin

🌤️ Today’s weather: Mix of sun and cloud. High 25C / low 12C.

🚧 Road closure: Charters Road closed today, 9am-2pm.


Saanich’s 2023 budget will see property taxes rise 7.19%

Saanich Peninsula. Photo: Shutterstock

Last week, Saanich adopted its $170M operating budget for 2023 and homeowners can expect a tax increase of 7.19%, amounting to an additional $229 a year for the average property owner.

The budget includes nearly $10.8M in added spending from last year, including $4.5M for park, playground, and trail improvements; $1.5M for information technology infrastructure; and a rise of $1.8M to the Saanich police budget, which now totals up to $40.6M.

“I believe this budget puts Saanich on a very strong footing moving forward, against a backdrop of the challenges created by inflation and labour shortages,” said Mayor Dean Murdock in a release.

Council was able to cut $1.2M by reallocating funds set aside for vacant municipal positions and changing the way the district funds its active transportation plan and information technology upgrade plan.

The district’s capital budget for 2023 is $95M, with key projects including:
• $22.8M for the Shelbourne Street Improvement Project phase 2
• $3.6M for sidewalk and cycling installation program
• $1.6M Fleet, IT & other capital replacement for protective services
• $850K Lochside/Fowler Park Renewal Phase 2
• $3.1M Pearkes Rec Centre HVAC upgrades
• $1.3M Tree and Trails Programs


Internet without all the big telco BS

It sounds crazy, but when you switch to oxio, you’ll realize it’s the first internet provider you actually like.

You see, oxio was born out of frustration with the big internet providers’ shifty prices, long contracts, and terrible customer service.

So oxio replaced that with:

  • Lightning-fast internet at fair and honest prices

  • Customer service reps you’d introduce your parents to

  • Radical transparency (no unreadable fine print, no contracts, nuh-uh!)

No wonder oxio scored 4.4/5 on Google and 4.7/5 on Plan Hub.

Capital Picks

🔄 Levidrome: Which two words spell each other backwards and are described by this clue: Chum around the track
Answer on Facebook or Twitter and tag #levidrome and #capitaldaily. Last time: Too proud of Wrigley’s = smug / gums

🎤 Lantzville man in Canada’s Got Talent finale: Raymond Salgado will compete for $150K tonight at 5pm on CityTV.

📣 From Sooke to the southern Gulf Islands, your opinions matter! Take the Victoria Foundation’s 2023 Vital Signs Survey today. Complete the short or long survey!*

🎨 Paint Night at Bard & Banker: Get creative with artist Leah Patterson tonight, 6-8pm. [Details]

*Sponsored Listing

In Other News

⛰️ Huge underwater mountain found off the Island’s coast
The 3,105m seamount is a third taller than nautical charts’ estimates, just shorter than Mount Baker. The discovery was made by scientists aboard the Okeanos Explorer, who are mapping the ocean floor. [Times Colonist]

🏠 Atira gives back $2M following BC Housing audit
The housing organization returned surplus funding from 2020 and 2021 and has opened a third-party investigation. Last week the province released a forensic audit that found BC Housing’s former head violated conflict-of-interest policy in dealings with Atira. Atira, which operates housing projects in the Lower Mainland and the Aerie childcare centre in Langford, said it complied fully with the audit and was not found to have any financial improprieties.

🖌️ One-winged raven learns to paint and recycle
Duncan-based Kyle sponge-paints on canvas, picks up cans and drops them in the blue bin, and is unusually comfortable with humans. [CTV]

🚨 Saanichton athlete charged with sexual assault in Utah
Ben Smyth, a now-suspended diver at University of Utah, has been charged with sodomy, sexual abuse, and rape over an alleged assault last August on campus. He was arrested after re-entering the US; a private investigator had claimed that Smyth returned to Canada after hearing he was being investigated. [CTV]


For sale: Junior 1-bedroom, south facing unit with extended patio at Hudson Place One

Perfect for first time home-buyers, downtown professionals, or investors. Priced at $499,000 this unit qualifies for all the provincial and federal first time buyer incentives.

Hudson Place One also offers top-notch amenities including a fitness centre/yoga room, a party/amenities room, kids play area, bike storage, dog wash (up to 2 pets allowed), guest suite, and concierge.

Proudly offered by 8X Real Estate and eXp Realty. View photos and the 3D virtual tour.

In Case You Missed It

✈️ Island plane company’s crash update: New details on the February crash of a firefighting plane in Australia. [Capital Daily]

💃 A bold, breathtaking, boundless season of dance. 2023/24 subscriptions on sale now. Save up to $146. Royal Theatre Box Office: 250-386-6121 or DanceVictoria.com.*

📱 Victoria students create app about Indigenous culture: IndigenUS intends to teach school-age children about reconciliation. [Victoria Tech Journal]

*Sponsored Listing

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