Con­vic­tion in Ponzi scheme up­held


A Cal­gary man jailed in one of the largest Ponzi schemes in Cana­dian his­tory has failed in his at­tempt to have his con­vic­tion over­turned.

Milowe Brost was sen­tenced to 12 years in prison for an elab­o­rate, mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar fraud in which in­vestors were promised un­re­al­is­tic re­turns.

He was also found guilty of money laun­der­ing.

He was con­victed along with his busi­ness part­ner Gary Soren­son.

Lawyers for Brost had ar­gued that he should have been granted a mis­trial when Soren­son, who was rep­re­sent­ing him­self, ad­mit­ted to jurors in his fi­nal sub­mis­sion that he used in­vest­ment funds in a fish­ing lodge.

The Al­berta Court of Ap­peal said even if it was a con­fes­sion, it didn’t point to wrong­do­ing by Brost.

“He did not im­pli­cate the ap­pel­lant and used the prepo­si­tions ”I“and ”me“11 times in this par­tic­u­lar pas­sage,” the judges wrote of Soren­son’s sub­mis­sion. The judges also re­jected ar­gu­ments that Jus­tice Robert Hall should not have re­moved a sick ju­ror and that he erred in his charge to the jury.

“The ap­pel­lant has failed to es­tab­lish how the con­duct of the trial by his self-rep­re­sented co-ac­cused ... amounted to a mis­car­riage of jus­tice. He has not rep­re­sented any re­view­able er­ror un­der­ly­ing the con­vic­tion and the ap­peal is dis­missed.”

The trial of Soren­son and Brost heard more than 2,400 in­vestors from around the world lost up to $200 mil­lion in to­tal. Po­lice have es­ti­mated the fig­ure could be as high as $400 mil­lion. Many peo­ple lost their life sav­ings.

In­vestors were promised a 34 per cent an­nual re­turn on a “low-risk” in­vest­ment of $99,000, which was sup­posed to grow to just over $1 mil­lion within eight years. They were told the busi­ness in­volved sell­ing gold for re­fin­ing.

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