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Former accountant Hofman wanted on RCM Police website

Millions sunk in "Ponzi" scheme

Tags: Hofman Case Investigation

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Fugitive Dutch-born former accountant and 'investment counselor' Fred Siebolt Hofman now is listed on a RCM Police website as one of Canada's Most Wanted. Hofman (now 61), has been charged with 31 counts of theft and 30 counts of fraud totaling approximately $9.7 million. Hofman was last seen on or about April 26, 1991, when traveling to the Netherlands.

Police say that Hofman attracted investors with promises of a 15 per cent return on investment that he would make by trading in U.S. Treasury Bills. Instead, Hofman operated a "Ponzi" scheme where new investor funds were used to repay clients who requested their money back. The RCMP bulletin also claims that Hofman used the funds for personal benefit and gain. The offenses occurred between January 1986 and March 1991 and victimized many in the Dutch-Canadian community in B.C.

The RCMP warns the public to take 'no action to apprehend this person yourself.' At the time of his disappearance, blue-eyed Hofman (6'1") weighed 231 lbs, had blond hair and a receding hairline. When last seen he traveled on a Dutch passport.

Since his disappearance in 1991, Hofman has been featured on several television programs such as W5 and America's Most Wanted. All leads turned out to be ones of mistaken identity although it is believed in the local Dutch community that Hofman has been in Australia (where he has a daughter), Mexico and Southeast Asia.

Hofman specifically took money from unsuspecting investors who acted on recommendations of others who had been paid or promised above average interest rates. Many investors lacked sufficient documentation for the funds they gave Hofman, limiting the number of charges to 61. In 1991, court claims against Hofman totaled about $20 million. However, even the list of known victims is much larger than the number of claims registered in court while others have avoided getting on either list. For many victims the missing money was their retirement 'nest egg.' Until recently, a number of victims tried to hold a professional organization responsible for their losses since it failed, they claim, to sufficiently warn the public of Hofman's sudden resignation and loss of credentials of the group.