Brian and Shannon Kitts, of Summerland. (Facebook)

Brian and Shannon Kitts, of Summerland. (Facebook)

Summerland couple charged in million-dollar Ponzi scheme

Investigation conducted by Alberta RCMP

A husband and wife from Summerland have been charged following an investigation into fraud allegations.

The investigation, by the Alberta RCMP Integrated Market Enforcement Team, came after a referral from the Alberta Securities Commission.

The couple had been operating several companies, identified as Vesta Capcorp Inc. and Vesta Equity Partners in Calgary. Police say a Ponzi scheme resulted in the loss of millions of dollars for investors between February 2014 and September 2016.

READ ALSO: As Canadians lose $34.6M in fraud so far this year, Crime Stoppers urges victims file reports

READ ALSO: Former Summerland Royal Bank employee faces fraud charges

Brian Kitts, 65, and Shannon Kitts, 55, of Summerland, have each been charged with the following:

  • Fraud over $5,000 contrary to Section 380(1)(a) of the Criminal Code;
  • Theft over $5,000 contrary to Section 334 of the Criminal Code; and
  • Laundering the Proceeds of Crime contrary to Section 462.31 of the Criminal Code.

The two are are scheduled to appear in Calgary Provincial Court on April 12.

“Unfortunately, the victims sustained substantial losses as a result of their investment within the Ponzi scheme they believed to be legitimate. The RCMP Integrated Market Enforcement Team urges investors to remain vigilant with their investment by performing due diligence,” said Inspector Charlene O’Neill, officer in charge of the Alberta RCMP Integrated Market Enforcement Team.

The Alberta RCMP conducted the investigation in collaboration with the Forensic Accounting Management Group, Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Canada, Public Prosecution Service of Canada and Specialized Prosecutions of the Province of Alberta, the Alberta Securities Commission, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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