Is The HomeEquity Bank Dodging Or Deliberating About Loansharking at Verico the Mortgage Station?
Attention seniors who have a CHIP Reverse Mortgage
We are sure that it will come as a surprise to absolutely nobody that the HomeEquity Bank declined our request for an interview with Steven Ranson, President and CEO, regarding the tactics of profiteering through loansharking and fraud that has been exposed and substantiated as being committed by brokers at Verico the Mortgage Station while selling CHIP Reverse Mortgages to potentially vulnerable seniors.
How many people would idly do nothing as hundreds of dollars were stolen from their bank account?
In addition to charging 120% interest on a personal loan, these loansharks also fraudulently deducted a $200.00 “administrative fee” directly from a mortgage payment that came via the brokers, but which was payable to their victim, our producer. That money came directly from HomeEquity Bank and was diverted without the consent of the legal recipient. That is like a bank teller making up fees that have not been approved or agreed upon so they can take as much money as they want out of your bank account without your consent and put it in their pocket.
How long would it take for police or government investigators to charge those committing the crime?
That $200.00 “administrative fee” was never agreed to be part of the loan and there is no authentic documentation granting the brokers permission to take it as part of any loan. That action was simply theft by fraud. It took a month of emails from their victim, who advised them multiple times exactly what laws they had broken, before Renee Dadswell, a broker at Verico the Mortgage Station, reluctantly and begrudgingly returned the $200.00 “administrative fee” that she had simply stolen. However, Dadswell has made no attempt to reconcile the crime of usury, or loansharkng, which is an indictable criminal offence under section 347(1)(b) of the Criminal Code of Canada and punishable by a prison term of up to five years. We feel no need to publish the name of the “Director, Contact Centre & Client Relations” who responded for HomeEquity Bank, as they are just the corporate messenger. Within their email, the Director noted:
“We’ve reviewed your invitation to interview Steven Ranson for “Verico the Mortgage Station Documentary.” After careful consideration and since this is now part of an active police investigation, we respectfully decline to participate in the series.” ”
Within our Producer’s request for the interview, he noted that we do not consider the HomeEquity Bank to be a willing participant in the crimes committed by Renee Dadswell, David Flude, and Lisa Purchase, the brokers at Verico the Mortgage Station who committed the crime of usury (loansharking) and theft by fraud. He also reiterated that we understand that the two businesses are separate entities and not legally linked. However, he also noted that since the HomeEquity Bank is now owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, perhaps they should be a bit more concerned about the financial security of seniors being defrauded by loansharks who are selling their products and services to potentially vulnerable people. He also stressed that indictable offences being committed by brokers who are selling their products and services will do nothing but hurt the image of the HomeEquity Bank amongst the seniors to whom they are promoting their CHIP Reverse Mortgage. The response email from the Director, Contact Centre & Client Relations of HomeEquity Bank hit our producer’s inbox a few minutes after the internationally experienced journalist sent a follow-up email that reads as follows:
Good morning all.
On Tuesday, July 4, I sent an email to Ms. Ziomecki and Mr. Madge via his email@example.com address. He then apparently forwarded it to everybody else on the CC list. Despite the seriousness of my allegations, I have so far received no reply of any kind from any of you. I do, however, have tracking records that show you all received it, which is how I have your email addresses. This eliminates denial of accountability.
As you know, I am a journalist. However, you seem to be ignoring the fact that I am also your customer. Do you not have legal or moral obligations to those who buy your products on trust through brokers that should be fully vetted by your company?
Is your only concern profiting as much as possible through every brokerage you can sell through, regardless of the financial risks they might present to your often vulnerable clients?
HomeEquity Bank is now owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board. Unions are supposed to be about supporting the people. Your lack of action in this regard, and your decision to stonewall my concerns, rings reminiscent of dealing with Ford supporters.
The brokers at Verico the Mortgage Station defrauded me through illegal fees, which I eventually forced them to give back. They also charged me 120% interest on a short-term bridge loan. They display ONLY your banner on their building, and as such, they represent your company.
You have seen the evidence, as have the South Simcoe Police Service despite their desire to ignore it. Those documents were enough to compel the Inspector to apologize for his initial denouncement of my claims, and to assign a specialist fraud detective to review the evidence.
I know that on Tuesday at least several of you visited our various pages, as our logs show simultaneous visits to various pages immediately after I sent my email. http://www.fivepointsmedia.ca/index-verico-the-mortgage-station-loansharking-in-lefroy.html
So, if you will not listen to me as a documentary producer who has given more than $600,000.00 in donated services to his community, listen to me as your customer who was defrauded and charged an illegal level of interest by a broker that is selling your CHIP Reverse Mortgages.
I also have legitimate and fully supported concerns regarding the financial security of customers who approach Verico the Mortgage Station to buy your products based on your continuing very public relationship with them.
As you have refused to protect your clients, many of whom could be easily defrauded as I was, I will be reaching out directly to senior groups across Canada to let their members know about this breach of trust that is apparently being supported or at least ignored by HomeEquity Bank.
I insist, as your customer, that you advise me as to what you intend to do about this fully supported claim of fraud and loansharking that was undertaken at Verico the Mortgage Station while they were working as your agents.
I reserve the right to post the content of this email as part of our documentary currently in production, or in articles supporting and promoting it.
Producer / Director, Five Points Media
Evidently, this second message hit home. In his first email, our producer introduced himself as follows:
"My name is John Ironside, and I am the principal producer of programming at Five Points Media (http://www.fivepointsmedia.ca/) in Barrie. We are a not-for-profit community channel that has been in operation since 2014. Since then, we have donated more than 300 videos to local charities, benevolent community groups, and various towns and cities, valued at a total of more than $600,000.00. In 2020 we were voted finalists in the Award for Altruism that is given each year by the Greater Barrie Chamber of Commerce and the City of Barrie. We are friends of the labour movement, and we have in fact donated services to support unions and labour activists in Ontario to assist their fight against Doug Ford."
This message drew attention from various people at the HomeEquity Bank as our visitor log shows as many as six people on our page from the same Toronto IP address during the same time.
So, what is the issue at HomeEquity Bank? They know our media company is legitimate, as do tens of thousands of people in Barrie, Innisfil, and Oro-Medonte to whom we have provided fully donated services to hundreds of charities, not-for-profits and benevolent community groups. They also know from looking at our more than 300 productions (http://www.fivepointsmedia.ca/recent-stories.html) that we have worked with organizations like the Barrie Police Service, the Nottawasaga OPP, the Barrie Fire Department, various emergency services, Barrie City Council, the Town of Innisfil, various Mayors and City Councillors, and the Barrie Chamber of Commerce.
Our credibility is without question to anybody who looks at our work, and the evidence when fully reviewed is irrefutable.
We have heard what is being said about us by the brokers of Verico the Mortgage Station, as relayed in an email from Inspector Fernandes of the South Simcoe Police. However, the evidence and our credibility as journalists and supporters of our community caused both him and the Chief to apologize and launch a proper fraud investigation. So, why does the union-owned HomeEquity Bank, which has an obligation to prevent fraud and criminal acts like usury, so determined to continue working with the brokers at Verico the Mortgage Station when they know doing so could put hundreds of seniors at financial risk and leave their bank open to liability as they have been fully informed of the facts and provided with the evidence?
The HomeEquity Bank is now owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, so you would think they would be obvious leaders in the fight to protect seniors from fraud and other crimes like usury.
Later that day, our producer received a voicemail from the “Director, Contact Centre & Client Relations of HomeEquity Bank” which he returned later that day. The Director reiterated that there was no legal connection between Verico the Mortgage Station and HomeEquity Bank, and they claimed there was little the HomeEquity Bank could do to help.
However, our producer countered with a question of ethical responsibility to the trusting clients of the union-owned HomeEquity Bank.
The brokers at Verico the Mortgage Station are selling CHIP Reverse Mortgages to potentially vulnerable seniors, that they are selling as arms-length agents for the HomeEquity Bank. Our producer asked “Does the HomeEquity Bank not have an ethical obligation to protect their own customers from potential fraud.’ The conversation lasted for about 15 minutes and by the end, the Director asked several times for a full package of all available evidence.
The argument is comparable to if a store sells a product after learning it is potentially dangerous
Regardless of being a third party reseller, they are open to liability if a person is hurt.
That is why, as journalists, we try to close all loopholes in communication that could be grounds for claims of ‘plausible deniability’. If somebody in an official position, be it a police officer or a politician, is informed of a crime being committed within their region of authority, they cannot simply ignore it. That is why we wrote back to Inspector Fernandes showing him in detail the error in math through which Detective Smith wrongly vindicated the actions of the brokers at Verico the Mortgage Station which led to the follow-up fraud investigation by a specially trained financial crimes detective.
That email resulted in apologies from both the Inspector and the Chief and also promises of a full and proper investigation.
On Friday, June 14th, our producer is meeting with the assigned fraud investigator, at which time he will establish the nature, awareness, and intent of the crimes committed by Renee Dadswell, David Flude, and Lisa Purchase. The full package of evidence being assembled by this internationally experienced journalist and former private investigator will also be sent to the Director, Contact Centre & Client Relations of HomeEquity Bank, as per his request, and to W. Mark Squire, the COO and President of VERICO Financial Group Inc.
Some following this story have asked if all of this effort is about $500.00, and the answer is obviously “NO”.
Our producer is now coming into his “golden years”, and this documentary, which will be shown across the country and then through streaming around the world, is our small contribution to stopping fraud of this kind from being committed against potentially vulnerable seniors. The brokers of Verico the Mortgage Station are not operators of a car wash or salespeople in a store. They are licensed financial brokers who are being permitted to work on trust with the life savings and homes of members of our community. They are required to work pursuant to the laws that are intended to protect those who retain their services. They have been entrusted to be honest in their dealings, and they have breached that trust by engaging in criminal activity that brings potential financial harm to vulnerable seniors who have worked their entire lives to be able to retire.
HomeEquity Bank is owned by the pension plan that services retired teachers, and they should feel legally and morally obligated to cut all ties with those who are defrauding seniors.