Toronto couple who raised more than $1 million for a non-existent clinic declare bankruptcy

Published: 2011-11-17 09:44:53
Author: Dale Brazao

A North York couple who investors say bilked them of more than $1 million with a phony chiropractic clinic have declared bankruptcy. Police are investigating.

Rowena Villanueva, 46, and her husband Quintin Robles, 56, list liabilities of $639,896 and assets of only $5,275 in documents filed with a bankruptcy trustee.

The list of creditors includes some, but not all, investors. Some say they lost their entire life savings to the Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Group, which existed only on paper.

The bankruptcy comes as a police investigation is “in the early stages,” said Toronto police detective Sgt. Cameron Field.

“If there is anyone else affected by this, they should contact us at the financial crimes unit,” Field said.

An earlier Star investigation revealed how the smooth-talking Villanueva lured investors, most of them Filipino caregivers and personal support workers, by offering pie-in-the-sky interest rates of 7 to 10 per cent a month.

Villanueva claimed to be part-owner of a chain of clinics and to be associated with a doctor. She does not own any clinics, and the Star could not find the doctor.