In a previous post, we reported on a then-ongoing Calgary trial involving an alleged $300 million Ponzi scheme affecting as many as 2,000 people, many of them Canadian. The fraud represents one of the largest Ponzi schemes in Canadian history. The accused individuals had already been sanctioned by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Alberta Securities Commission.
On Saturday, February 14, 2015, an eleven-member jury found Gary Allen Sorenson (“Sorenson”) and Milowe Brost (“Brost”) guilty as charged. Each man was found guilty on two counts of fraud and two counts of theft. Brost was also found guilty on one count of money laundering.
Throughout the course of the trial, Brost’s lawyer argued that the investment structure related to a failed business endeavour, not a criminal fraud. In closing arguments, both men continued to proclaim their innocence, with Sorenson representing himself. It is unclear whether Brost or Sorenson will take a different approach to their sentencing hearings. Crown prosecutors have stated that they intend to seek the maximum sentence of fourteen years each for Brost and Sorenson.
Although sentencing was scheduled to take place in late February of 2015, the hearing has been postponed until June 8, 2015, to allow Sorenson’s new lawyer sufficient time to familiarize himself with the evidence. As victim impact statements will be presented during the sentencing hearing, the Crown is currently seeking to identify any as-yet-unknown victims who may wish to seek restitution orders against Brost and Sorenson.
We will continue to provide updates as the remainder of the case unfolds.
* The author wishes to thank Jennifer Bernardo for her assistance with this post.