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4 charged in Calgary investigation into sale of $9M in anabolic steroids, suspected money laundering

A machine used for the production of illegal steroids and seized cash in connection with a Calgary Police Service investigation that resulted in four arrests. Supplied/Calgary Police Service

Three Calgarians and a Vancouverite have been charged following a Calgary police investigation into suspected money laundering of the profits from the sale of illegal anabolic steroids.

The owners of Pareto Pharmaceuticals are accused of illegally producing and selling anabolic steroids since 2015, and concealing $9 million in profits through real estate investments and the purchase and sale of cryptocurrency.

The investigation into suspected money laundering was launched in late 2020 and included analysis of more than 150 bank accounts tied to the company.

Police officials say a manufacturing lab was located during the investigation where raw anabolic steroids, allegedly shipped internationally to Calgary, were made into pills and injectables under the Pareto Pharmaceuticals name for sale in Canada.

Officers searched various locations in Calgary and Chestermere, as well as a location in Vancouver, on Thursday, Dec. 14, resulting in a combined seizure of:

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  • 82.3 kilograms of raw anabolic steroids (estimated street value of $4 million)
  • 3,174 vials of ready-to-sell anabolic steroid (estimated street value of $317,000)
  • 223,388 anabolic steroid pills (estimated street value of $350,000)
  • 355,643 undisclosed Food and Drugs Act-regulated pills (estimated street value of $533,000)
  • 29 kilograms of raw powder of undisclosed Food and Drugs Act-regulated substances (estimated street value of $1.74 million)
  • $589,585 in cash
  • roughly $500,000 worth of jewelry

“Identifying sources of illicit income often leads to the revelation of other criminal activity and networks used to perpetuate elaborate crimes,” said Staff Sgt. Geoff Gawlinski of the Calgary Police Service economic crimes unit.

“This was a sophisticated money laundering operation that required extensive time, resources and collaboration with other agencies to thoroughly investigate so that the necessary evidence could be collected, and the right people held accountable.”

Three men and a woman were arrested and charged in connection with the investigation.

Fraser Landeen, 33, of Vancouver, as well as Calgarians George Elias Haddad, 33, and Spencer Jonathan Rivers, 29, have all been charged with:

  • conspiracy to commit an indictable offence
  • laundering the proceeds of crime
  • trafficking a controlled substance
  • possession of proceeds of crime
  • possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking
  • possession of a controlled substance

Angela Li, a 28-year-old Calgary woman, was charged with:

  • trafficking of a controlled substance
  • possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking
  • possession of the proceeds of crime
  • possession of a controlled substance

The accused are scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 12, 2024.

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