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Past Calgary Chapter Events

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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