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Very little left in Earl Jones accounts Accountant


victims, called three witnesses, including Robillard, Mary Sue Gibson, one of Jones' alleged victims, and Robin Whitrod, who was allegedly owed $32,500 from Jones for doing many of his clients' income tax returns.

Wednesday's declaration of bankruptcy means accounting firm RSM Richter has the power to try to find some way to repay some 150 creditors.

"We now have the ability . . . to conduct examinations and do whatever necessary to recoup assets," Stein said.

But Robillard didn't provide much optimism for investors, who are out an estimated $50 million.

"It doesn't seem that the money just disappeared in the last year, it was gone long before that," he said. "We've found very little.

"In 60 bank accounts, there's probably less than $30,000."

Robillard said that in the accounts they've examined, the balance hovered around $200,000 at the end of the month, which would be "flushed out throughout the month to customers, his wife and himself, and to pay some accounts.

"Then there'd be deposits and the balance would come up to $200,000 (again) and it kept rolling like that from month to month."

Robillard said his firm has to sift through 20 years' worth of accounting figures and suspects some of the money may be in offshore accounts.

"We haven't pinpointed yet when the money disappeared," he said. "It could have been 10 years ago, for all we know."

He said they will be questioning Jones and his wife.

On Monday, Stein filed for permission to have Jones declared personally bankrupt. A hearing for that petition will be held Aug. 19.

The lawyer was granted permission by Quebec Superior Court to seize all of Jones' personal assets, including his homes in Dorval and Mont Tremblant, as well as all bank accounts.

But so far, even that is not producing fruit.

"It appears Mr. Jones cashed in all his personal investments, RRSPs, life insurance in January 2009," Robillard said. "He's been seeing this coming for quite a while."

Meanwhile presumed victims of the financial adviser held a rally to "raise public awareness that financial crimes are as important as other crimes," according to participant Joey Davis. "We want the government to make stiffer sentencing and laws for financial crimes."

Tina Pinck, the daughter of another alleged victim, was one of many carrying placards saying "100 victims, 100 years" (in prison).

"The laws are too lenient in Canada and need to be changed," she said.

 •  Post by: Email: News Date: 2009-09-07 Review: 8052

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