Three years ago, Victoria’s Dawn Rabey decided she’d better start thinking about saving for retirement. That’s when a financial advisor introduced her to Greg Martel and his company, My Mortgage Auction, also known as Shop Your Own Mortgage.
“I received the information, it sounded really good, and I felt I had like a knowledgeable person who had recommended it to me,” Rabey said.
The Victoria therapist started investing with the company through bridge loan opportunities offering short-term, high-interest payouts. For a while, things were going well, then she says the promised payout dates started getting delayed.
“It would just get longer and longer, so where the payout was said to be given to us within five business days that would move, it would become three weeks, then a month, then two months, then three months.”
Rabey says she was starting to grow concerned about her investments, but the company seemed to have plausible reasons for the delays, like staffing issues and payout system problems.
“I would talk to Greg and he would sound so nice and caring and like a human being, you know, I would get that kind of personal interaction and feel like okay, maybe it’s true they’re just struggling this way or having a hard time,” she said.
So when she was watching CHEK News last Friday and learned that several civil suits had been filed against the company and that it had been placed in receivership, her greatest concerns were realized.
“I was like something is seriously wrong here, and that’s where I could just feel the fear through my body and know that I’m actually in something that’s way too deep.”
On Tuesday, hundreds of investors tuned in as the B.C. Supreme Court reconsidered the receivership order and were startled to hear from the receiver’s lawyer that the RBC accounts belonging to My Mortgage Auction contained just $279.98 and that $58 million had been deposited and taken out over the past six months.
The receiver’s report, submitted to the court, also notes “significant concerns about the lack of information regarding the Bridge Loans and their recovery.”
During the hearing, the judge cautioned that “there may be perfectly legitimate explanations for the various transactions,” a sentiment echoed by the receiver’s lawyer.
In a phone call with CHEK News Tuesday, Greg Martel himself promised everyone would be getting paid back, and the delays were just due to “hypergrowth” within the company. Martel promised to provide more detail in another phone call to CHEK News Wednesday morning but never called back and couldn’t be reached by phone or email.
But on Thursday night, Martel made his first public comments by issuing a statement that said, “As you know, on May 4, My Mortgage was placed into receivership on the application of one of your fellow investors. That is regrettable, but My Mortgage is not insolvent nor, as has been alleged, is it a Ponzi scheme. It has a sixteen year successful track record.”
The statement continued by saying, “Our business grew exponentially during 2022 and that led to difficulties with staff and administration. However, we went through an extensive reconciliation exercise at the end of 2022, and it clearly showed that My Mortgage has the contracts and the ability to enable all investors to recoup their investments.”
As for Dawn Rabey, while she doesn’t want to disclose just how much she’s invested if it isn’t repaid, she says it will have a significant impact.
“It’s the majority of my retirement savings [that] are wiped out, and I’ll be starting from the beginning again.”
While the RCMP won’t confirm if it’s investigating, a spokesperson says they are aware of the allegations being made against Martel and his company and is urging any investor with concerns to contact their local police.