Two people are facing dozens of charges for fraud occurring throughout Alberta and BC in an alleged $7.8 million Ponzi scheme.
On August 30th, Edmonton Police Service (EPS) arrested and charged Curtis Quigley, 56, and Kathleen Treadgold, 56, with 80 counts of fraud over $5,000 and one count of laundering the proceeds of crime.
The two suspects were allegedly offering securities in the form of promissory notes to guarantee investors a set return on their money, which was often presented as a real estate “flip.”
The scheme was often run under the company name Group Venture Inc. and is believed to have been ongoing between October 2008 and December 2020.
“Ponzi schemes work on the premise of providing initial financial gain, so most victims believe the investment to be profitable and then invest additional principle,” says EPS Detective Herczeg.
“In most Ponzi schemes, some initial investors will receive a full return on their investments, and the fraudster then uses those individuals as references to convince the more skeptical investors to buy in.”
While most of the victims appear to have been in Alberta and British Columbia, EPS has identified victims in the United States and as far away as Australia.
Investigators believe there may be other victims who have yet to come forward and are encouraging them to contact the police.