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Alberta RCMP charge husband, wife in alleged multi-million-dollar Ponzi scheme

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Alberta RCMP charge B.C. couple in multi-million-dollar Ponzi scheme
WATCH: A B.C. couple will appear in court on April 12 to answer to charges relating to a Ponzi scheme they allegedly operated out of Calgary. Matthew Conrod reports – Mar 23, 2021

Alberta RCMP have charged a British Columbia couple with fraud, theft and money laundering after discovering a Ponzi scheme they allege bilked investors out of millions of dollars between February 2014 and September 2016.

The investigation by the RCMP’s Integrated Market Enforcement Team (IMET) probed several companies operated by the husband and wife, including Vesta Capcorp Inc. and Vesta Equity Partners, both of which were operated out of Calgary.

“Unfortunately, the victims sustained substantial losses as a result of their investment within the Ponzi scheme they believed to be legitimate,” Insp. Charlene O’Neill said.

Read more: 73-year-old Calgary man charged in multi-million-dollar Ponzi scheme: Alberta RCMP

RCMP have charged 65-year-old Brian Kitts and 55-year-old Shannon Kitts of Summerland, B.C., with fraud over $5,000, theft over $5,000 and laundering the proceeds of crime.

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Both are scheduled to appear in court on April 12.

According to Darren Cooper from the Baun Investment Group with Wellington-Altus Private Wealth, difficulty withdrawing your money is a warning sign that you might be involved in a fraudulent investment.

“A lot of times, the person telling you about it might make (the investment opportunity) look very believable and trustworthy, but underneath it all, the lack of transparency or registration related to the product would ring a lot of warning bells for a professional in the industry and that could create major consideration for avoidance,” he said.

“If you constantly have to fight to get your money and can’t get straight answers, that’s a major warning sign.”

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