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Past Calgary Chapter Events

Understanding the ASC Whistleblower Program

April 11, 2024

The Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) established its Whistleblower Program in November 2018 to encourage employees of Alberta companies or entities to safely and easily report potential securities misconduct or fraud without fear of repercussion. This presentation will provide an overview of the Whistleblower Program and in particular, explain the definition of a whistleblower under the Alberta Securities Act; the role of whistleblowers in detecting and combating securities fraud and misconduct; the legal protections available to whistleblowers, including anti-reprisal provisions; ethical and public interest motivations for being a whistleblower as well as how to report wrongdoing through the Whistleblower Program. In addition, the presentation will briefly discuss a related ASC Policy - Credit for Exemplary Cooperation policy and the eligibility of whistleblowers for credit under that policy.


Solomon Ngoladi

Solomon is the Officer, Office of the Whistleblower within the Enforcement division of the Alberta Securities Commission, and in this role, he engages directly with whistleblowers and manages whistleblower files. In addition, he plays a key role in the formulation of internal processes for the administration of the ASC’s Whistleblower program and in stakeholder engagement, outreaches and public awareness in respect of the program.

Previously, he worked as an enforcement counsel at an overseas securities regulator where he advised on several enforcement files and presented cases before securities administrative panels. Before that, he was an enforcement and cooperation advisor at the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), the securities market global standard-setting body. He also practised as a civil and commercial litigation lawyer overseas before transitioning into securities regulatory enforcement.


OSINT: An Essential Tool of Modern Forensic Practice

February 8, 2024

Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) refers to the collection, analysis and interpretation of information from publicly available sources. The uses for open source intelligence within a forensic context are varied and multifaceted depending on the types of questions an investigation aims to answer. Whether it’s about highlighting new relationships between (un)known entities, or unearthing new avenues of inquiry, open source collection can only serve to strengthen the confidence of your investigative inferences and conclusions. This presentation will introduce the fundamental concepts of open source collection and explore its role as a necessary investigative tool in modern forensic practice. Investigative methodologies, research best practices and case studies will be shared to familiarize audiences with the ‘what’ ‘why’ and ‘how’ of this powerful digital practice.


Zuzanna Chociej

Zuzanna is a Manager with MNP’s Forensic and Litigation Support Services practice in Toronto. She is an accomplished open-source investigator with a passion for information security and open-source analysis. With a deep understanding of technology and a keen eye for detail, she specializes in gathering, analyzing, and interpreting open-source intelligence (OSINT) to provide valuable context and insight for informed risk mitigation.

With over a decade of experience, Zuzanna has worked in an intelligence and research capacity for various government and private sector organizations. This is in addition to her experience in the private sector as a risk analyst and investigator. Zuzanna communicates her findings through a systems-oriented perspective, which you will find reflected in her cyber threat and OSINT work at MNP.


International Asset Tracing Tools - How to Recover Assets Transferred Offshore

November 16, 2023

Join us for an informative presentation that will cover asset tracing tools both inside and outside the insolvency arena, with an overview of the law in Canada, the United States, Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The presentation will also cover the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvencies and Recognition of Foreign Judgments, as well as the ongoing projects of Working Group V.


Karen Fellowes, KC

Karen Fellowes, K.C. is a Senior Counsel at Stikeman Elliott LLP and is the Western Canadian Leader for their national Restructuring & Insolvency Group. Her practice is based in Calgary and Vancouver. She specializes in protecting the interests of stakeholders including creditors, debtors, Trustees, Monitors, Receivers in commercial re-organizations, workouts, restructurings and proceedings under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.  Karen has appeared in the Superior Courts and Appeal Courts in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

Karen is the President and Chair of Pro Bono Law Alberta, a provincial organization which runs free legal advice and duty counsel clinics at Alberta Courthouses. She is on the Executive Board for the International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC), and was awarded the Fetner Award for outstanding international member. In addition, Karen is part of a delegation to Working Group V of UNCITRAL, and attended the recent sessions relating to asset tracing and choice of law in Vienna and New York. She also sits as a Member at Large on the Board of the Advocates Society’s Insolvency Litigation practice group.

In 2020, Karen was honoured with a King’s Counsel (K.C.) designation, a prestigious designation conferred on members of the legal profession to recognize their distinguished legal service and expertise in a particular area of law.


What happens when third-party fundraising goes awry?

September 21, 2023

Join us for a unique and interactive luncheon that invites legal, accounting, and social advocacy professionals to examine the many layers of considerations when funds raised by third-party entities do not fulfil their stated charitable objectives.

Through a hypothetical case study, Sarah and Heidi will engage the audience to discuss the legal, accounting, and “soft” considerations in a situation in which CFEs face numerous obstacles to tracing missing crowdfunded donations which were alleged to have been raised by a third party for a restricted purpose. Using a decision-tree style model to assess avenues of recourse for those who suffer losses from misrepresentation or fraud, attendees are invited to provide their legal, accounting, and social advocacy acumen to map out the most viable approaches for CFEs in these types of scenarios. Naturally, this discussion also engages CFE ethics.

This luncheon will highlight key aspects of legal accountability and recourse, resources for forensic accountants, and social advocacy facets that CFEs must take into account when approaching this sensitive and complex scenario. Though this case study consists of applicable legal and accounting practices for Canadian registered charities, the principles discussed are broadly transferrable to many other multi-party transactions. The decision-tree approach is a great tool that may be adapted to any case where the parties are privately owned entities, individuals, or others who are not required to disclose financial information to the public.


Sarah Hawco

Sarah Hawco is a Chartered Accountant with a specialization in tax, as well as a Chartered Insolvency and Restructuring Professional, and holds a Master of Laws from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. She is also a member of CPA Alberta, CAIRP, ACFE and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Alberta. Prior to founding the business, forensic accounting, and dispute resolution advisory firm Hawco Peters, Sarah spent 13 years practising insolvency and turnaround management at national and international firms. She also provided a wide range of consulting, specializing in due diligence, business reviews and viability assessments, corporate taxation, estate planning, restructuring and alternative dispute resolution. In 2023 she also co-founded HP Capital Corp, which delivers short-term commercial loan solutions for bridge financing and working capital requirements.

A lifetime Calgarian, Sarah is an avid community and financial literacy advocate. Outside of her professional commitments, Sarah volunteers her time to teach financial literacy at various schools and shelters.

Heidi J. T. Exner

Heidi Exner has lived and worked in Canada, the US, and Australia. She is currently the Director of Policy, Risk, & Compliance for the private equity fund APERION Group, and the Founder and Executive Director of the Exner Foundation, which aims to address white-collar crime in Canada. She has served on numerous boards and councils, including TEDxYYC, Calgary Legal Guidance Society, Archives Society of Alberta, and the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Arts Alumni Advisory Council.

In addition to being a CFE, Heidi is a licensed PI in the Province of Alberta, and she completed her studies to obtain her JD and MBA at the University of Calgary in 2023. Heidi is currently working towards becoming a CFA, and she also plans to become a licensed attorney in the state of New York, USA.

Heidi is locally and globally celebrated for her academic, entrepreneurial, and community contributions; among her list of accolades, she was the only Canadian to receive the ACFE Foundation’s Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship in 2022.


Fraudulent Conveyances

April 20, 2023

Presentation Description:

Fraudulent conveyances and fraudulent preferences, in most cases, require proof of intent to defeat, hinder or delay creditors. This can be a difficult evidentiary hurdle for examiners, accountants and lawyers seeking to reverse a transaction based on these legal principles. We will discuss the “badges of fraud” identified by Courts in fraudulent conveyance and fraudulent preference cases, as well as some of the methods used to obtain the information necessary to prove them. We will further discuss some interesting case law that has developed around fraudulent conveyances and fraudulent preferences.


Erin Viala

Erin Viala is a partner at HMC Lawyers LLP, practicing primarily in the areas of collections, insolvency, employment and commercial litigation. Erin frequently represents both secured and unsecured creditors in realizing on debts, and brings a practical and results-based focus to advising her clients.


Case Study

February 9, 2023

Presentation Description:

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.


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

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.


Trouble at Lakewood, A Case Study

November 24, 2022

Presentation Description:

A Case Study: Join us for an interactive session on understanding the decision points in a complex investigation. The case study will explore what appears to be a straightforward allegation of one employee failing to comply with organizational procurement practices. As the investigation continues, you will be asked to make choices including the types of information to collect and analyze, the employees to interview, the types of misconduct to be investigated and ultimately which individuals and projects are in scope. How will your answers compare to those of the real life investigators?


Gina Campbell, Partner at Deloitte, is a forensic accountant by training, has over 20 years of experience investigating and assisting companies address the risk of fraud and corruption. For three years, Gina led Deloitte’s national forensic practice which includes Discovery, proactive financial crime compliance, fraud and corruption investigations. Gina’s investigative experience includes the areas of alleged corruption, fraud, financial misconduct, and breach of fiduciary duty.

In addition to providing investigative assistance to clients and their counsel, Gina acts as an advisor regarding fraud and corruption risk management programs, ethics and compliance programs, anti-fraud and anti-corruption controls and the consideration of fraud during audits.

Heidi Bereta, Senior Manager at Deloitte, has over 14 years of experience in auditing and financial advisory services, including work primarily as a forensic and investigative accountant. Her primary area of focus is on forensics and disputes, primarily investigations into fraud, corruption, financial misconduct, and breach of fiduciary duty, as well as analyzing and quantifying loss. Heidi’s portfolio also includes assisting and advising clients with their fraud and corruption risk management programs.

Vivian Shum, Manager at Deloitte, has over 10 years of professional work experience which includes conducting forensic accounting engagements, including financial crime investigations, compliance and risk assessments, and litigation matters. Her prior experience in the private sector also included improving operational and financial performance as well as internal controls.


Fraud and Virtual Assets

September 22, 2022

Presentation Description:

Virtual Assets (AKA Cryptocurrencies) have made their way into our world and there is no sign of them going away. Mac Thiele, a cryptocurrency investigator, will be presenting on how cryptocurrencies are being viewed by governments and how they are being used in the commission of fraud, among other money laundering typologies. Mac will be focusing on the major two cryptocurrencies Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) and the basics of how they work and how they are used in the world of decentralized finance (DeFi); in addition, other common typologies using BTC and ETH will be covered on a non-technical level. This presentation will give viewers a high-level overview on how major cryptocurrencies can be used in the commission of various crimes, including fraud.


Mac Thiele has worked in virtual asset investigations and compliance for the past four years. Mac is currently an investigator and trainer for a large virtual asset exchange and focuses on investigations relating to fraud, ransomware, and terrorist financing. As a trainer, Mac trains investigators on effective use of open-source intelligence (OSINT) in virtual asset investigations and how to confirm individual identities. Previously, Mac has worked with the Alberta Securities Commission in the Enforcement Division where he focused on OSINT based proactive investigations and enforcement of illegal initial coin offerings (ICOs). Mac’s professional interests relate to the evolving art of OSINT and how DeFi will be regulated in the Canadian environment.

Mac is currently based out of Calgary, AB for a home base, but works as a digital nomad and has visited various countries while working. 


Intro to Biometrics: Applications in fraud prevention, detection, and investigation

April 21, 2022


Simon Marchand has extensive expertise in fraud prevention, detection and management - as well as in authentication and identity - in both the banking and telecom industries, with more than 10 years of experience in the field. Prior to Nuance, Simon held key fraud prevention positions at Montreal-based Laurentian Bank, at Bell Canada, and at Québec’s Order of Chartered Administrators, where he managed its professional inspection program.


Conducting Virtual Interviews

February 17, 2022


Eric Keller previously practiced corporate securities law.  Ten years ago he started with the Alberta Securities Commission, where he is currently a Senior Investigative Lawyer.  In his time at the ASC, Eric has investigated numerous cases involving fraud and illegal distributions, as well as reviewing more technical requirements of securities regulations as they apply to enforcement matters.


Wildlife Crimes - Following the Money

September 23, 2021


Stephen Scott is a former member of the RCMP and current consultant to the UNODC GPML in Southern Africa in the field of facilitating money laundering and asset forfeiture training to seventeen countries. This has included in person mentoring to law enforcement and intelligence officers in Tanzania and online to countries in the Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network of Southern Africa (ARINSA). Stephen worked in the Calgary Integrated Proceeds of Crime AML Team, INSET and the IMET JSIU where he managed and conducted money laundering, asset forfeiture, organized crime and terrorist financing investigations for 24 years. Stephen Scott served on contract as a sworn member of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service Bureau of Financial Investigations in 2019 and 2020 before returning to Canada due to the pandemic. As a member of the RCMP IPOC AML Unit Stephen served as the FINTRAC liaison, CBSA contact and the “gatekeeper” to the Alberta Justice Civil Forfeiture program. He was a designer and facilitator on the RCMP Advanced and Basic Proceeds of Crime courses as well as a facilitator at the Canadian Police College for the National Expert Witness training and Drafting Information to Obtain Search warrants courses. 

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Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Calgary Chapter

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