Watch the video above: Father and daughter heading to jail after one of the largest Sask. fraud cases
SASKATOON – A father and daughter are heading to jail after one of the largest fraud cases in the province.
Tried by judge alone, Ronald Fast and Danielle Fast-Carlson were each sentenced in Saskatoon Friday to serve time and ordered to pay millions in restitution between the both of them, after defrauding more than 200 people out of almost $17 million.
“Ronald Fast has been sentenced to one of the largest sentences for fraud in Saskatchewan history, seven years for Ronald Fast,” said Gary Parker, Crown prosecutor.
Based on the “wide-spread harm of his greed” said the judge, Fast was also order to repay the entire amount in restitution.
“It’s entirely appropriate, it was a large fraud in excess of $16 million involving about 250 victims,” said Parker.
Parker says thanks to the hard work of the Saskatoon RCMP commercial section, the accused was caught.
“This is a gentleman who defrauded more than 200 people. Some them of their entire, not their entire life savings but much of their life savings, so he seems to be a gentleman who does not have compassion for others,” said Parker.
According to RCMP, the victims of this fraud were mostly from Saskatchewan but others invested from across the country and the United States.
“He’s arrogant that’s the only word the judge didn’t use, he’s arrogant, that’s the word I’ll use and I think that’s why he feels that it’s not his fault, but it is,” said Al Procyshyn, the unofficial spokesperson for the fraud victims.
“What really brothers me was the people that couldn’t afford to lose all that stuff, it was really bad. I had a chance to talk to way more people than the court did and some of that stuff was devastating.”
A sentence indicative of a trend in the Canadian justice system against white collared crime said Fast’s lawyer.
“He is heartbroken that he lost millions of dollars for his family and friends and he is immensely embarrassed, this is a broken man and the fact remains though that from a legal perspective, he quite clearly doesn’t understand that chasing losses, throwing good money after bad in desperation compounded the problem,” said Michael Nolin, Ronald Fast’s lawyer.
In delivering his sentence, the judge said he didn’t believe Fast ‘gets it’ in terms what he’s done wrong, a statement Fast’s defence attorney agreed with.
Asking for a conditional sentence for his client, the defence calls the sentence disappointing.
“I don’t think there’s a lot of utility in Mr. Fast spending as much time in jail as he’s going to. For all intents and purposes, it’s a death sentence, he’s going to die there and I don’t know what the public gains from that,” said Nolin.
Fast’s daughter, Danielle Fast-Carlson is sentenced to 30 months in prison and has been ordered to pay one million dollars in restitution.
“I think an obligation to repay a million dollars is a massive obligation and it’s one that is never going to go away, she’s likely lost her career as an accountant and it’s difficult to imagine how she’s ever going to repay that amount,” said lawyer Mark Vanstone.
Vanstone said an appeal is not out of the question for his client.