Canada's mini-Madoff fraudster surrenders

MONTREAL: A Canadian financier on the run for two weeks and who is believed to have swindled close to 50 million dollars (46 million US) surrendered to authorities, police said.

Bertram Earl Jones is accused of having carried out a pyramid scheme which bilked investors by using new financial injections to pay older clients, much like the multi-billion-dollar scheme orchestrated by disgraced Wall Street financier Bernard Madoff.

Jones is thought to have scammed several dozen investors, mostly in Quebec, but also in other parts of Canada and in the United States, Quebec's securities regulator AMF said in an alert on July 10.

"He presented himself to police this afternoon, accompanied by his lawyer," police in French-speaking Quebec province said in a statement.

Jones will be brought before a judge in Montreal on Tuesday, police said.

The scam was uncovered after anxious customers contacted AMF saying they were unable to reach Jones.

Canadian media said hundreds of investors may have been conned by Jones.

His bank accounts were quickly frozen by authorities, but they were found to be empty.

Jones's family recently released a statement saying they were "devastated" by the scam, and that his wife and daughter had been unaware of the scheme and were themselves victims of it.

Madoff was jailed in June for 150 years for "extraordinarily evil" crimes in the largest investment fraud in US history.