MONTREAL, March 6 (UPI) -- Some 158 investors will divide up $17 million in damages from the Royal Bank of Canada in an out-of-court Ponzi fraud agreement announced by the bank Tuesday.
The settlement relates to the conviction of former financial adviser Earl Jones, who used a Montreal-area RBC branch to run his fraud of paying old investors with new investors' money.
Jones was convicted of theft and fraud and sentenced to an 11-year prison term in February 2010, The (Montreal) Gazette said.
The investors who lost money are mostly elderly and originally sought $40 million from the bank, which was alleged to be aware of Jones' criminal activities since 2001.
To avoid a class action trial, RBC offered the victims $12.5 million in July, which was refused.
Despite increasing the settlement to $17 million, the bank said in its brief statement it wasn't admitting to wrongdoing.
"RBC has closely examined its role in providing Earl Jones with a bank account and is satisfied that it was not negligent," the statement said.
The offer and acceptance are scheduled to be formalized in a Quebec Superior Court hearing March 14, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said.