The Globe and Mail reports in its Saturday edition that Fortress Real Developments raised $920-million from 14,000 Canadians who thought they were getting low-risk, steady income. The Globe's Janet McFarland writes that now, as the company comes under the pressure of an RCMP investigation and faltering projects, some face the prospect of devastating losses. Among Fortress's investors were Mario Narciso and his wife, Fernanda Cortes.
Four years ago, Mr. Narciso was left partially paralyzed after a fall. Confined to a wheelchair and unable to work, the now 58-year-old received a $500,000 insurance settlement.
The couple wanted to put the money into a safe, income-generating investment. An adviser, whom the couple did not want identified, recommended a condominium and retail development in Barrie, Ont., known as Collier Centre.
Investors in the Fortress-led project could earn 8-per-cent annual interest and would receive their principal back within a maximum of two years, the adviser told them.
In 2015, the couple agreed to hand over their whole $500,000 settlement. What they did not know was that Collier Centre was just emerging from bankruptcy protection and that earlier investors had not been repaid.
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