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Former executive cops plea, avoids jail in fraud scheme

The 33-year-old former executive with Concrete Equities who faced theft and fraud charges stemming from his alleged fleecing of 1,200 investors out of a total of over $20 million agreed to a plea last month.

Inside of a packed Calgary courtroom on a recent Friday in September, the man entered a plea of guilty to a single count of fraud over $5,000. The Crown dropped all other charges as part of the plea agreement. The defendant is not expected to serve any jail time. Both his defence counsel and the Crown requested that he only serve a community sentence.

Their joint recommendation was for a two-year conditional sentence. If the man adheres to the conditions of his sentencing and completes around 250 service hours in the community, he likely will avoid jail entirely. The judge in the case reserved her decision regarding his sentencing.

Dozens of investors showed up for his plea. Some cried during the proceedings; 98 individuals filed victim impact statements with the court, and the Crown read some aloud.

Some victims told of having to remain in the workforce much longer because their retirement funds were gone. Others spoke of being traumatized and even suicidal.

The gist of the scam involved promises of returns of over 500 percent to investors who bought stakes in beach properties in Mexico that were as-yet-undeveloped, the RCMP stated. However, those monies were siphoned off for the execs to use in other ways.

The long-term consequences of criminal convictions should never be downplayed. However, sometimes a conviction is almost a foregone conclusion simply based on the evidence. In those cases, your defence lawyer can be instrumental in working to get you the best deal possible that allows you to avoid time behind bars.

Source: CBC News, "Former Concrete Equities exec pleads guilty in $20M-plus fraud," Meghan Grant, Sep. 30, 2016

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