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Ontario woman out $30K after investing in mortgage company accused of being unlicensed

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An Ontario nurse is fighting to recover tens of thousands of dollars in savings she invested in a mortgage company that has since been accused of operating without a licence.

“I thought this could be a good way to generate income and I gave them $130,000,” Jackie Bennett of Whitby said.

Bennett gave the money to mortgage broker Yashna Singh with Best Choice Financial, a mortgage company operating out of a unit in a plaza in Scarborough. She said the mortgage company was supposed to lend out her $130,000 over a three-month period and then return the entire amount, plus $9,000 in interest.

Three months came and went, however, and Bennett said she didn’t receive anything back.

“It's been going back and forth, so many excuses, just lame excuses back and forth," Bennett said.

Back in February, Bennett became worried and reached out to CTV News Toronto for help. When CTV News went to the offices of Best Choice Financial in Scarborough, the door was locked, there appeared to be no one inside, and the company’s sign had been removed.

Best Choice Financial Services in Scarborough can be seen above. The company's sign has since been removed. (Google Maps)

Nearly two months later, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) released a statement accusing Singh of operating without a licence and ordering her to stop dealing in mortgages in Ontario. She has requested a hearing before FSRA’s financial services tribunal to deal with the allegations.

Prior to the FRSA announcement, CTV News had reached out to Singh, who said the funds had been invested in mortgages but that the funds had not been paid due to delays in the sale of the properties.

Singh told CTV News at the time that she was doing her best to resolve the matter.

“I have made arrangements for the funds to be paid and have received partial funds. I will make arrangements for the balance with Jackie for a payout date,” she said.

In April, Bennett said she was able to recover $100,000, but is still fighting for the remaining $30,000.

“I’m just so happy I’ve gotten most of it back. I was so worried and so stressed out,” she said.

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