$5.5M Ponzi scheme leads to 22 charges against Edmonton man: police

Timothy Ray Carruthers, 59, has been charged with 22 counts of fraud over $5,000.
Timothy Ray Carruthers, 59, has been charged with 22 counts of fraud over $5,000. Courtesy: Edmonton police

Edmonton police say a man who allegedly facilitated 257 fraudulent bridge mortgage loans worth an estimated $5.5 million is facing nearly two dozen charges.

Between January 2009 and June 2017, the 59-year-old is accused of using the company name Wakina Consulting Inc. in a mortgage Ponzi scheme.

The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) said he used publicly available documentation from homeowners. The homeowners, who were unaware of the fraudulent mortgage loans, were allegedly said to be taking out bridge mortgage loans while selling their current residence and purchasing a new residence.

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According to investigators, the man promised investors administration fees and monthly interest on their investment.

“The scheme was brought to the attention of EPS when an investor reportedly did not receive the agreed-upon funds, began looking into the contract, and uncovered fraudulent documentation,” police said in a news release Friday.

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After a two-year investigation, Timothy Ray Carruthers has been charged with 22 counts of fraud over $5,000.

Police believe there may be other victims and have released a photo of Carruthers so that anyone with more information comes forward.

Edmonton police can be reached at 780.423.4567.

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They also say there are ways individuals can protect themselves and their money.

“Typically, people who are capable of committing frauds at this level understand the business, so it makes them very believable,” Det. Linda Herczeg said.

“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.”