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

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Sylvan Lake PeeWee B Lakers win gold at home tournament

Both the PeeWee B and C Lakers hosted a home tournament, Nov. 9-11.

Sylvan Lake student reaches nationals in quiz competition

Annika Angelstad van Elmpt competed with Manitoba in the Pony Club National Quiz competition

PHOTOS: Sylvan Lakers shop at kcs fundraiser

The Seasons Givings market was held Nov. 10 as a fundrasier for kcs Association

The Christmas Passport encourage shopping local in Sylvan Lake

The Christmas Passport works with the Winter Village, which will turn on Dec. 1

Giving Tree back in Sylvan Lake for its eighth year

The Friends of Bethany will be putting the tree up on Nov. 21

WATCH: Remembrance Day in Lacombe fills LMC

2018 marked 100 years since the end of First World War

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Carjacking sees 76 year old woman’s vehicle stolen

Wetaskiwin RCMP with Crime Reduction Unit charge robbery suspects

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Canada Post no longer guarantees delivery times amid more rotating strikes

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers closed two major processing centres in Ontario and B.C.

McGill students vote overwhelmingly to change Redmen team nickname

Student union held a referendum after a campaign by Indigenous students

Calgarians head to the polls to declare ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ on Winter Games

The question “are you for or are you against hosting the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games?” was to be posed to them Tuesday in a plebiscite to help determine whether the city should move ahead with a bid.

Most Read