Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Tri-West suspends payments as Canadian founder jailed

An investment club that offers a 10-per-cent monthly return through offshore investments has suspended payments to its members after its Canadian founder was arrested in Mexico carrying $4.5-million (U.S.) in cashier's cheques and money orders.

Tri-West Investment Club, which is based in Belize and operates primarily over the Internet, has posted an "urgent" notice on its Web site that tells members that recent difficulties have forced the company to "suspend membership activities" as of May 1, affecting "bonus payments" for May and June.

Tri-West founder Alyn Richard Waage, 55, was arrested in April after he landed at Puerto Vallarta on a leased Lear jet.

Story continues below advertisement

The company's Web site does not identify Mr. Waage by name, but says that a Tri-West courier who was en route to deposit cheques in the company's "Latvian payment account" had to "make an unscheduled layover and did not know he had to declare [cheques]in excess of $10,000 [U.S.] Airport authorities then confiscated these [cheques]"

Corporal John Lovie of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Edmonton said the courier was Mr. Waage. Mr. Waage was arrested with two other men travelling with him, and is being held without bail on suspicions of money-laundering. Corporal Lovie said Mr. Waage is being held in a jail in Guadalajara. Neither he nor his lawyer could be reached for comment Sunday.

Mexican authorities contacted the RCMP after Mr. Waage's arrest because Mr. Waage is wanted by Canadian authorities in relation to several matters, including a mortgage scheme in Edmonton that Corporal Lovie spent several years investigating.

Corporal Lovie said he began the investigation in 1995 and wrapped it up last year, but Mr. Waage left the country in 1998. Warrants were subsequently issued for Mr. Waage's arrest, and those warrants surfaced when Mexican authorities did a routine check, Corporal Lovie said.

Regulators in a number of jurisdictions have taken steps to halt the sale of Tri-West products.

Jurisdictions that have issued orders against the sale of Tri-West's investments include Kansas, Illinois, Texas, South Dakota, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, British Columbia and Manitoba. Calls to the phone number given in Tri-West's Web site, which uses an area code in New York state, were not immediately returned Sunday.

Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Unchecking box will stop auto data updates
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

If your comment doesn't appear immediately it has been sent to a member of our moderation team for review

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading…

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.