Class Action Commenced Against James Stephenson and Investia Financial Services Inc.

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UPDATE: DECEMBER 5, 2013
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Class Action Settlement Approved!

On December 5, 2013, The Honourable Mr. Justice Edwards approved this class action settlement. 

Those eligible for compensation should receive settlement funds by mail from the Administrator near the end of December, 2013.

 

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UPDATE: NOVEMBER 26, 2013
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The Administrator will be sending out a letter to all claimants later in September.  The letter will update claimants on the outcome of the motion and will provide more information about how a claimant's compensation was calculated along with information about a Challenge process.  The resumption of the motion for Settlement Approval has now been scheduled for 9 AM on Thursday, December 5, 2013, BUT ON NOVEMBER 25, 2013 WE WERE ADVISED BY THE COURT THAT THE COURT HAS CHANGED THE VENUE TO THE NEWMARKET COURTHOUSE AT 50 EAGLE STREET WEST IN NEWMARKET.

 

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UPDATE: AUGUST 19, 2013
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The Honourable Justice Edwards released his decision regarding approval of the settlement on Friday, August 16.

Justice Edwards determined that the total amount of the settlement was fair and reasonable for the class as a whole. He also found that the proposed legal fees submitted by class counsel were fair and reasonable under the circumstances.

As you know, some persons objected to the settlement on the basis that the total amount recovered, for the entire class, was insufficient. The court rejected that objection.

The court also refused the claims advanced by persons after the claim deadline.

The court, despite the objection of class counsel, allowed some of the relatives of Mr. Karas and Mr. Stephenson to advance claims for compensation.

The court however agreed with some concerns raised by some objectors about the challenge process as it relates to individual claimants. As a consequence, the settlement was, unfortunately, not finalized and any pay-outs will be delayed.

Instead, Justice Edwards adjourned the motion for approval of the settlement so that class counsel and the administrator, together with the lawyers for the defendants and their insurers, can implement a challenge process for persons who object to the discreet amount otherwise payable to them, individually, under the settlement. Once this process is agreed upon and implemented we will return to the court and seek final approval so that payments can be made to individual class members. At that time, the court will only deal with issues relating to procedural fairness and not any issues relating to the total amount of the settlement payout. There may be adjustments in everyone's individual amounts depending on the results of any particular review, since the total amount available for distribution is now essentially fixed. In light of this ruling, we do not expect to be able to pay out any monies until early next year.

We hope that we can implement this process this fall and attend back before the court before the end of the year for approval. We will keep you updated via posts on this website and with individual mailings, when appropriate.

Click here for a link to the decision of the court.

 

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UPDATE: JULY 17, 2013
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We still await a decision from the Court.  The decision will be posted here when it is released.  We are hoping to have a decision in the next few weeks but note that the timing of the decision is completely out of our control.

 

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UPDATE RE: MOTION ON JUNE 7, 2013
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The Plaintiff’s Motion for Settlement Approval was heard before The Honourable Mr. Justice Edwards on June 7, 2013. The Judge advised that he will be considering his decision and will likely issue it in the next few weeks. Once a decision is released it will be posted on this website along with any other applicable information.

We ask that you do not call for updates as there is no information whatsoever available by way of update other than the information above. If the settlement is approved then compensation will likely follow to class members eligible for compensation within approximately 6 weeks thereafter.

 

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UPDATE: MARCH 6, 2013
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The Class Action Administrator is in the process of preparing and sending out letters to Claimants about their claims and how their claims have been evaluated pursuant to the class action settlement, which is all subject to Court approval.

Click here to review the Settlement Agreement that may be referenced in the letters from the Administrator.

If you have submitted a Claim Form, please wait for your letter from the Administrator (which you will receive by April 5, 2013) before contacting us with questions about the Settlement Agreement or its impact on your claim.

 

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UPDATE: MARCH 5, 2013
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The deadline to submit Claim Forms has now passed.

Anyone that has submitted a Claim Form to the Class Action Administrator before the deadline should receive a letter from the Administrator by April 5, 2013.

Please wait for the letter from the Administrator rather than calling for updates.

 

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UPDATE: NOVEMBER 27, 2012
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We are pleased to announce that, subject to Court approval, a settlement has been reached of the Class Actions against David Karas and James Stephenson.

A motion for Court approval of the Settlement has been scheduled for June 7, 2013 in Oshawa.

Click here to review the Full Notice in order to learn more about the settlement and your options. 

Click here to access the Claim Form that must be submitted by claimants to the Administrator by no later than February 28, 2013. (See FAQs for more information)

To review the Orders for Directions by the Judge in relation to this Notice and the Motion for Settlement Approval click on the links below:

To contact the Administrator, contact:

Crawford Class Action Services
3-505, 133 Weber St. N.
Waterloo, Ontario N2J 3G9
Tel: 1-877-739-8936
Fax 1-888-842-1332
moneyconceptssettlement@crawco.ca

 

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UPDATE: OCTOBER 30, 2012
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The continuation of the defendants' motion to appeal our successful certification decision, which was scheduled for November 5, 2012 in Newmarket Court, has been adjourned for favourable reasons that we will soon report to you. Thank you to all members of the class who had planned to attend, but your attendance will no longer be necessary. We will be sending out a letter to all class members in the very near future with a full update on our efforts to resolve this case. Please stay tuned.

 

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UPDATE: JUNE 26, 2012
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In June 2012, the defendant's motion for leave to appeal the certification decision was commenced but was unfortunately not completed.  The motion will be completed in November of 2012 with a decision to follow soon thereafter.  Further updates will follow subsequent to the completion of the leave motion.
 

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UPDATE: FEBRUARY 17, 2012
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CERTIFICATION GRANTED!

On February 17, 2012, the Honourable Mr. Justice Bryan Shaughnessy of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice certified a class action in this matter. Justice Shaughnessy’s Reasons for Decision can be found here.

The class will be comprised of all clients of James Stephenson who borrowed money to invest in mutual funds or segregated funds (the "Leveraging Scheme") through Money Concepts (Barrie) and held leveraged investments at Money Concepts (Barrie) prior to the branch closing on or about March, 2010.

Official notice of Certification will soon be provided to all class members in accordance with further directions to be provided by the Court.

Further information will be posted as it becomes available.

 

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UPDATE: DECEMBER 15, 2011
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On December 12, 13 and 14, 2011, the Honourable Justice Shaughnessy heard extensive arguments about whether or not the class action commenced against James Stephenson and Investia Financial Services Incorporated for allegedly inappropriately advising clients to participate in a leveraged investment scheme, which resulted in clients sustaining significant financial losses, should be certified as a class action. Justice Shaughnessy reserved his decision, meaning that it will be several weeks before he releases his decision with respect to this matter. Justice Shaughnessy's decision will be available on this website once it is released. We sincerely thank all class members who were able to make it into Oshawa to attend the motion.

We encourage you to continue to monitor our website for any updates in this class action.
 

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The Honourable Mr. Justice Shaughnessy of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has approved the following schedule for the Class Action:

Event Date Required to be Completed Status
The Plaintiff is to serve and file Certification Materials April 29, 2011 Check Mark
The Defendants are to provide their responding Certification Materials July 29, 2011   Check Mark
Best efforts to complete cross-examinations on Affidavits submitted in support of the Certification Motion By September 30, 2011    Check Mark
Motion for Certification December 12, 13 and 14, 2011   Check Mark

 

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On March 9, 2011, a class action claim was issued against James Stephenson, a financial advisor located in Barrie, alleging that Stephenson inappropriately advised clients to participate in a leveraged investment scheme, resulting in these clients sustaining significant financial losses. Also named as a Defendant in the claim was Investia Financial Services Inc., a company alleged to be associated with Stephenson in promoting the leveraged investment scheme.

The class action claims $2 million in special damages for each client of Stephenson that participated in the leveraged investments scheme, as well as $50 million in punitive and exemplary damages.

The class action claim was launched by retirees Bruce and Edith Smith, clients of Stephenson that participated in the leveraged investment scheme and suffered devastating financial losses.

If you would like to review the full details of the allegations made against Stephenson, see the Statement of Claim, issued March 9, 2011.

If you were a client of Stephenson who participated in the leveraged investments scheme and would like to sign up to receive information about the class action, please fill out the sign up form below.

 

~ Please click here if you were a client of David Karas



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