An Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) panel has handed out bans and millions in fines to a pair who raised $137 million in a Ponzi scheme.
The ASC ordered Arnold Breitkreutz to pay a $1-million fine and a $2.67-million disgorgement, as well as $100,000 for hearing costs. Susan Elizabeth Way was fined $150,000 plus a $362,049 disgorgement and $50,000 in costs.
Last year, an ASC panel found that Breitkreutz and Way had perpetrated a fraud on investors. The pair deceived “investors into thinking that they were investing in mortgages held by Base Finance rather than in a loan to an undisclosed entrepreneur involved in oil and gas developments in the U.S.,” the decision said, and they operated a Ponzi scheme.
The panel described Breitkreutz’s misconduct as “among the most egregious known to the capital market.”
The decision said that the orchestrated fraud occurred over many years, during which time he raised more than $137 million and left hundreds of investors with little or no recovery.
Breitkreutz and Base Finance, the company for which he was the founder, sole director and shareholder, are permanently banned from trading or purchasing securities. Way is banned for the longer of 20 years or until she pays her fines.
Last May, the RCMP arrested and charged Breitkreutz and Way with fraud and theft over $5,000.
Read the ASC decision here.