By Jensen, Randy on September 25, 2020.
A Calgary man wanted in connection with a multi-million-dollar investment fraud has turned himself in to Lethbridge Police.
With the assistance of Alberta Justice and the Canada Border Services Agency, Josef Korec returned to Canada from the Czech Republic on Sept. 6, where he quarantined for 14 days in accordance with the Quarantine Act in Vancouver, B.C. He returned to Lethbridge on Sept. 23 where he turned himself in on his outstanding arrest warrants.
In June 2018, members of the Economic Crimes Unit initiated an extensive, long-term investigation into a multi-million-dollar investment fraud spanning multiple jurisdictions across Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan. Police determined a Lethbridge man had been defrauded of over $3.1 million by Calgary-based investment company RAEU Global.
The victim was seeking more than $25 million to build a major project in Ontario and required capital to proceed. RAEU, and an Okotoks brokering firm – Taurus Capital – agreed to provide the money necessary to fund the project, however, as part of the deal it was stipulated that a $3.1-million “down payment” was required.
The victim raised the down payment by seeking out several of his own investors, then met with RAEU representatives on multiple occasions to complete the transaction. The down payment was provided, but the loan was never fulfilled. Further investigation revealed the money was taken and transferred to bank accounts belonging to associates of RAEU, including several accounts in the Czech Republic.
Korec, 46, is charged with fraud over $5,000, possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000 and money laundering. Korec was subsequently released from custody by a Justice of the Peace on $50,000 cash bail with numerous conditions, and his first court appearance will be on Oct. 21 in Calgary.
Dustin Ritter, 36, of Okotoks, was also charged with fraud over $5,000 and possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000. Ritter was arrested on July 23 in Okotoks.