October 11, 2017 6:49 pm

No jail time for Calgary lawyer convicted of theft

FILE: The exterior of the Calgary Courts Centre in downtown Calgary.

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A former Calgary lawyer who was disbarred after revealing his involvement in the misappropriation of at least $3.5 million which he was expected to hold in trust will not face any jail time after pleading guilty to a single count of theft over $5,000.

Floyd Campbell was given a conditional sentence on Wednesday of two years less-a-day. Half of the sentence will be served under house arrest while the remaining time will involve a curfew. Campbell will also be on probation for one year after completing his sentence.

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Campbell had originally been charged with 30 counts, including fraud and theft. The other 29 charges were dropped by the Crown. Campbell’s business associate, Brandon Antonini, was convicted earlier this year on 23 counts including fraud and theft over $5,000.

Campbell and Antonini ran two businesses together – a mortgage brokerage and a real estate development in Mexico.

“The Mexican projects required substantial sums of money and [Antonini] and I exhausted our ability to fund the projects through legitimate means,” Campbell wrote in the agreed statement of facts filed with the Law Society of Alberta as part of his disbarment.

“We resorted to various means to obtain funds.”

In one case detailed in the statement of fact, Campbell admitted to funneling money, which was to be held in trust, to pay creditors of the pair’s “businesses and ventures.” In total, Campbell admitted to misappropriating at least $3.5 million dollars.

In the matter before provincial court Judge Anne Brown, Campbell admitted to stealing $225,000 intended for a bridge financing deal. Brown said the money vanished, “never to be seen again.”

Crown prosecutor Peter Mackenzie had asked the court for a jail sentence of up to two years. However, Judge Brown said a pre-sentencing report recommending a community-based sentence, along with the direction of the Alberta Court of Appeal, guided her decision not to impose jail time.

As Judge Brown outlined her reasoning, some in the gallery affected by Campbell’s business dealings shook their heads in disbelief, dismayed by the sentence.

Campbell’s lawyer Derek Jugnauth told the court his client is attempting to liquidate the Mexican properties in order to make restitution to those who were affected by his dealings. The crown sought to have a restriction placed on Campbell so that he was not directly involved in the marketing of those real estate deals – a condition judge Brown imposed as part of her ruling.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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