RED DEER -- nearly five-year long RCMP investigation has led to charges against a Sylvan Lake man accused of defrauding multiple people in excess of $2 million.
53-year-old Dane Michael Skinner faces counts of fraud, laundering proceeds of crime and two of uttering threats.
The charges stem from alleged incidents that occurred between December 5, 2007 and February 28, 2013 in Lacombe and involved two numbered companies (1518869 Alberta Ltd / 1367158 Alberta Ltd) as well as N.E.X.T. Legacy Technologies Ltd.
Mounties allege Skinner misrepresented and advertised a "revolutionary fracking product" which resulted in lucrative financial gains. As a result, numerous victims were enticed to invest in his company with losses to those investors reported to be over $2.6 million.
Blackfalds RCMP were notified of the alleged offences in September 2013 and began their investigation at that time with the assistance of Red Deer Financial Crimes Unit.
Skinner was arrested and charged on July 25 and has been released from custody to appear in Red Deer provincial court on August 8.
“This fraud was very elaborate, and consequently, our investigation has been very elaborate and has involved substantial resources and time,” says Constable Bill Lewadniuk of the Financial Crimes Unit, in a press release. “We hope that this successful outcome brings a sense of closure to the multitude of victims affected by this crime.”
In a 2012 promotional video (see below) N.E.X.T. Legacy Technologies Inc., which billed itself as a private company that manufactures and provides proprietary, 100% organic/non-toxic products for the stimulation and completion of conventional and unconventional oil and gas wells.
Hydraulic fracking involves pumping high-pressure fluids underground, which creates tiny cracks in the rock and releases natural gas or oil held inside.
None of the companies involved are in operation anymore, as police say they went into receivership.
Blackfalds RCMP remind the public that if they feel they have been a victim of this fraud, or any other fraud, they should report it to their local RCMP Detachment, or local police station.
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