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Alberta

Husband and wife charged in multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme

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2 minute read

March 23, 2021

Alberta RCMP Federal Policing charge husband and wife in multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme

Calgary – Following a referral from the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC), the Alberta RCMP Integrated Market Enforcement Team (IMET) investigated fraud allegations against a husband and wife operating several companies identified as Vesta Capcorp Inc. and Vesta Equity Partners in Calgary. What was discovered to be a Ponzi scheme resulted in the loss of millions of dollars for various investors between Feb. 2014 and Sept. 2016.

Following an extensive investigation, Brian Kitts, 65, and Shannon Kitts, 55, of Summerland, British Columbia have each been charged with the following:

  • Fraud over $5,000 contrary to Section 380(1)(a) of the Criminal Code;
  • Theft over $5,000 contrary to Section 334 of the Criminal Code; and
  • Laundering the Proceeds of Crime contrary to Section 462.31 of the Criminal Code.

Brian and Shannon Kitts are scheduled to appear in Calgary Provincial Court on Apr. 12, 2021.

The Alberta RCMP was able to successfully carry out this investigation in collaboration with the Forensic Accounting Management Group, Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Canada, Public Prosecution Service of Canada and Specialized Prosecutions of the Province of Alberta, the ASC, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“Unfortunately, the victims sustained substantial losses as a result of their investment within the Ponzi scheme they believed to be legitimate. The RCMP IMET urges investors to remain vigilant with their investment by performing due diligence.”

– Inspector Charlene O’Neill, Officer in Charge of the Alberta RCMP Integrated Market Enforcement Team.

The IMET is a specialized unit under the RCMP Federal Policing program that detects, investigates, and deters market fraud. The IMET unit works closely with the ASC to protect investors and further enhance confidence in the Canada’s capital markets.

With March being Fraud Prevention Month, Albertans are reminded to remain aware of potential scams, conduct their due diligence with investments, and report suspected criminal acts to law enforcement. If you have information with respects to a market-related fraud, you are asked to contact IMET at [email protected].

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Alberta

Man linked to B.C. and Alberta charged after woman's body found in national park

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LAKE COUNTRY, B.C. — A charge of second-degree murder has been laid against a 41-year-old man following the recent discovery of a woman’s body in Kootenay National Park in southeastern B.C.

A statement from RCMP says Philip Toner was arrested Tuesday in the Okanagan and will be returned to Alberta to face the murder charge.

The body of 35-year-old Brenda Ware was found last Thursday near her vehicle along a B.C. highway through the park, but investigators say they believe the alleged killing happened in Alberta.

Police say Toner and Ware were known to each other, but the nature of their relationship has not been described.

The statement says the “complex, interprovincial investigation” is still very active and police want to speak to anyone who may have had contact with Toner between May 4 and May 11 in either Alberta or B.C.

Drivers who might have picked up a hitchhiker travelling between B.C.’s Columbia Valley and the central Okanagan district of Lake Country on those dates are also asked to contact RCMP major crime detectives.

Toner appeared in provincial court in Kelowna Wednesday and police say the BC Prosecution Service received a seven-day remand in order to return him to Alberta.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 12, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Flames' Sean Monahan done for season with hip injury requiring surgery

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Calgary Flames centre Sean Monahan will not play the remaining four games of the regular season and will undergo hip surgery next week.

The 26-year-old had 10 goals and 18 assists and was minus-six in 50 games this season.

“He did battle through it. It wasn’t just for two or three games. He’s done it for the last 20 games,” Flames head coach Darryl Sutter said.

“Sean tried to do everything that I asked him to do and he did it with pain, so I give him a lot of credit.”

Calgary (23-26-3) has four games remaining in the regular season, all against Vancouver (21-27-3), starting Thursday. 

Both teams will finish out of the playoffs in the North Division.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 12, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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