Edmonton Man Charged Following Investigation into Alleged $5.5M Ponzi Scheme
EDMONTON (Canadian Press) -- Police say a 59-year-old Edmonton man is facing charges after allegedly orchestrating a Ponzi scheme valued at $5.5 million.
Investigators with the Edmonton police say the man used the company name "Wakina Consulting Inc.," and allegedly facilitated 257 fraudulent bridge mortgage loans between 2009 and 2017, using publicly available documentation from real homeowners.
Police say the homeowners did not know about the alleged fraudulent loans and were said to be taking out bridge mortgage loans while selling their current home and purchasing a new one.
Investigators say investors were allegedly promised administration fees and monthly interest on their investment.
But they say an investor reportedly did not receive the agreed-upon funds, began looking into the contract and discovered fraudulent documentation.
Police say Timothy Ray Carruthers was charged with 22 counts of fraud over $5,000 following a two-year investigation.
"Typically, people who are capable of committing frauds at this level understand the business, so it makes them very believable," Det. Linda Herczeg said in a news release.
"When you're investing with someone, you want to make sure that they are properly licensed to be selling the products they are presenting. Check their credentials, read the fine print, verify the documentation, ask questions. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is."
Police say the accused may have defrauded others, and are encouraging any additional complainants to come forward.