Man charged with fraud after victim losses of over $10 million

Red Deer RCMP began investigation in April of 2016

Red Deer RCMP have charged a 45-year-old Red Deer man with money laundering and fraud against the public after conducting a search warrant at his home on Dec. 19th; the search warrant is the culmination of a 20-month fraud investigation alleged to have cost its investors more than $10 million.

This complex investigation began in April of 2016 after RCMP received reports of suspected fraud involving the purchase, sale and rental of mobile light towers by Silvertip Energy Inc. The RCMP investigation centred around allegations that the owner of Silvertip Energy had sold or rented light towers with the same serial number to multiple investors and had also sold or rented units that were never manufactured. Victims of the fraud included five individual investors with estimated total losses of approximately $4 million, and four or more corporations in Canada and the United States with estimated collective losses of $6.2 million, for total losses of approximately $10.2 million.

“This is an example of a Ponzi scheme, where the same light towers were bought and rented numerous times on paper, on behalf of a number of different investors,” says Constable William Lewadniuk of the Red Deer RCMP financial crimes unit. “Each level of a Ponzi scheme includes re-selling the same items to new investors, then paying a portion of that money to previous investors as if it were dividends. Ponzi schemes are like pyramid schemes in that they rely on continually bringing in new investors in order to keep the previous ones from discovering the fraud.”

The Red Deer RCMP financial crimes unit worked closely with the United States Secret Service and FINTRAC (Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada) throughout this investigation. The search warrant was executed by Red Deer RCMP on Dec. 19th at a residence on C&E Trail north of Red Deer. RCMP seized documents relating to the investments and electronics.

A 45-year-old Red Deer man faces the charges of laundering the proceeds of crime, three counts of fraud over $5,000 and possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000.

RCMP continue to investigate.

“I believe this may be the largest fraud file we’ve seen in Central Alberta,” said Lewadniuk. “The Red Deer RCMP’s cross-border collaboration with the US Secret Service and our ongoing partnership with FINTRAC were vital to its successful conclusion.”

FINTRAC is Canada’s financial intelligence unit. Its mandate is to facilitate the detection, prevention and deterrence of money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities, while ensuring the protection of personal information under its control. The United States Secret Service is mandated by Congress to carry out a unique dual mission: safeguarding the financial and critical infrastructure of the United States, and protecting the nation’s leaders.

-Connolly

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake Wranglers. File Photo
Sylvan Lake Wranglers ready for shorten hockey season

The HJHL will have a 20 game season, playing four games in a cohort and then going dark for 14 days

Decorate your vehicle for display at the second annual Trunk or Treat on Oct. 31 . (Blakc Press File Photo)
Sylvan Lake church to host a socially distanced Trunk or Treat on Halloween

Goblins and ghouls can go around to vehicles for their tricks or treats at the Alliance Church

Front-line hospital workers have walked off the job at the Rimbey Hospital, and across the province. Photo Submitted
Front-line health care workers on strike across the province, including Rimbey Hospital

The strike is due to cut of 11,000 health care jobs in the province, according to AUPE

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, confirmed more than 1,000 cases over the weekend Monday afternoon. File photo
COVID-19: Central zone active cases up Monday

‘We’ve now crossed the tipping point,’ says Hinshaw

Royal Alexandra Hospital front-line workers walk a picket line after walking off the job in a wildcat strike in Edmonton, on Monday, October 26, 2020. Hospital and health-care workers who staged a one-day illegal walkout returned to work Tuesday while politicians swapped recriminations and accusations in the house over the dispute. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta health staff return to work, surgeries resume after one-day walkout

AHS estimated 157 non-emergency surgeries, most of them in Edmonton, had to be postponed as a result of the walkout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes his way to provide an update on the COVID pandemic in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. Canada has reached a grim milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic, surpassing 10,000 novel coronavirus deaths. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Alberta COVID deaths pushes Canada past milestone of 10,000 deaths

Canada crossed the threshold of 5,000 deaths on May 12, a little over two months after the first was reported

Cases in Ponoka (East Ponoka County) as of Oct. 27. (alberta.ca)
Diagnosed cases of COVID-19 at three Ponoka businesses

Town ‘strongly encouraging’ residents to wear non-medical masks in public

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

The Williams Lake Indian Band is stipulating no-go zones for mushroom picking in areas burned by last summer’s wildfires. 100 Mile Free Press photo
Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

‘We don’t necessarily know where the mushrooms grow, how old the stands need to be, those types of things.’

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada/USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
U.S. election results one factor that could impact immigration to Canada next year

The survey polled 1,523 Canadians between Oct. 23 and Oct. 25

Alberta’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Monday July 6, 2020. The Alberta government is hoping to get more Albertans employed by moving to limit the number and type of temporary foreign workers it allows into the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Alberta to limit temporary foreign worker program to save jobs for Albertans

Temporary foreign workers already in the province won’t be affected

(Emily Jaycox/Bashaw Star)
Wreath laying ceremony held in Manfred, Alta.

Ceremony marks 64th anniversary of Hungarian revolution, honours settlers

Most Read