Class-action lawsuit launched against Calgary company

A group of investors from across the country hope to pursue a multimillion dollar class action lawsuit.

They put $160 million into Platinum Equity, a Calgary-based company that promised a safe investment.

Many of them say they've now lost their entire life savings.

At 74, Simon Okkerse says he has had to go back to work after losing money in what he thought was a safe investment.

"Two hundred thousand dollars,” said Okkerse.

“That was my retirement fund that I collected through the years.”

Okkerse put his money into Platinum Equities, a Calgary-based company, that he says promised safe and secure investments in office buildings.

"We were getting only five or six per cent return on investment on these buildings — that is not astronomical 'too good to be true' type of investments,” said Okkerse.

Other investors put millions of dollars into about a dozen office buildings in Calgary.

In return they thought they were getting an ownership stake, but some buildings fell into foreclosure, others were sold and investors say they've been left with nothing.

"Then all of a sudden we heard there was no money left in the kitty to pay us and we never got any of that money,” said Okkerse.

Company officials with Platinum Equity were contacted for this story but calls were not returned.

Calgary-based lawyer Kevin McGuigan’s firm is advancing the lawsuit.

"This is something hurting economy, hurting integrity of the investment system, people thought by investing in property it was going to be safer and less risky than investment in the stock that's how it was marketed turned out not to be the case,” said McGuigan.

Platinum Equities investor Jeffrey Exconde said the loss has wiped him out. He’s joining the lawsuit.

"I feel stress, right? It's hard earned money, right? I didn't get this money from stealing from others, doing some bad stuff, I work hard for it,” said Exconde.

Investors are meeting Monday at 7 p.m. MT, at Southside Victory Church in Calgary.

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