Over a period of more than thirty years, investors gave money to Arnold Breitkreutz and his company, Base Finance Ltd., on the promise of a safe investment and attractive returns. The investors were led to believe that Mr. Breitkreutz was loaning their money to his mortgage brokerage clients and, in turn, securing the loans with first mortgages on Alberta real estate. At the outset some investor money was secured by first mortgages on Alberta real estate but, unbeknownst to investors, Mr. Breitkreutz also loaned money to an oil and gas promoter and took security in oil and gas leases and equipment. By May 1, 2014, Mr. Breitkruetz and Base Finance Ltd. had almost no mortgages on real estate in Alberta. Investor money, to the extent it had not already been dissipated, was invested in a risky oil play in Texas. Investors lost millions of dollars.
Mr. Breitkreutz and his assistant Susan Way were investigated by both the Alberta Securities Commission and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Successful regulatory and criminal prosecutions resulted. ASC investigator Vi Pickering and Alberta Crown Prosecutions Service Senior Counsel Brian Holtby will discuss the Base Finance case and some of the unique issues that arose.
Biography of speakers
Brian Holtby, KC
A native of Regina, Saskatchewan, Brian Holtby is a graduate of McGill University and Osgoode Hall Law School. He has been a member of the Law Society of Alberta since 1982 and has practiced criminal law in a variety of positions: defence lawyer, rural Crown Prosecutor, Senior Counsel of the Youth Criminal Defence Office and Federal Prosecutor. Since 2009 he has been employed as Senior Counsel by the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service, Appeals and Specialized Prosecutions Office. He specializes in prosecuting organized crime and serious economic crime. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2002, was named the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators Prosecutor of the Year in 2021 and is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal.
Vi Pickering has 14 years experience at the Alberta Securities Commission as a Senior Securities Investigator. Her background and experience includes 35 years in regulatory law enforcement.
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Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Calgary Chapter