Former dentist in $40M Ponzi scheme faces lifetime ban from trading securities

TORONTO – A former Toronto dentist who bilked dozens of investors, including his own mother, through a $40-million Ponzi scheme has been permanently banned by the Ontario Securities Commission from trading securities and participating in investments.

The provincial regulatory body said Tuesday that Peter Sbaraglia will also face further reprimand.

According to agreed facts in the settlement reached with Sbaraglia, from January 2006 to January 2009, he was the officer and director of C.O. Capital Growth Inc., a private issuer.

Sbaraglia admitted that during this period he had raised $21.2 million from 25 to 30 investors, who were mostly his close friends and family members.

The investors believed they were loaning the money to Sbaraglia for a fixed term of between one to two years at a high fixed-rate of 20 to 30 per cent.

Sbaraglia had told them the money was being used for investments, but instead, he gave it to his business partner, Robert Mander.

Mander, who owned E.M.B Asset Group, did not invest the funds but used it as part of a Ponzi scheme that totalled $40 million.

According to the agreed facts, the money was used for personal expenses like restaurant meals, properties, and to pay off credit cards.

“Sbaraglia, through his role in C.O. and his close involvement with Mander, participated in Mander’s Ponzi scheme in a manner which he ought reasonably to have known perpetuated a fraud on investors,” the commission wrote in a statement.

The commission also noted that Sbaraglia repeatedly misled or gave false information to its officials throughout the course of its investigation.