Joint investigation leads to lengthy jail time for Calgary fraudster
A Calgary man has been jailed for seven years for defrauding 11 people out of millions of dollars including an elderly victim.
William Jordan McBean was found guilty of 12 counts of fraud over $5,000 under the Criminal Code following an investigation by the Joint Serious Offences Team (JSOT) combining securities regulators, police, and criminal prosecutors.
Eleven of those defrauded handed over more than C$2 million in fees for access to billions of dollars of (apparently non-existent) financing.
A further victim (a woman in her 70s) was defrauded out of more than US$425,000 in relation to funds provided for investment purposes by McBean.
"The seven-year jail term McBean received is the lengthiest sentence imposed to date in a JSOT case in Alberta and reflects the gravity of his crimes,” said Cynthia Campbell, Director of Enforcement at the ASC. “The ASC, through our JSOT partnership, is committed to holding those who prey on investors accountable."
JSOT brings together collective expertise from the Alberta Securities Commission, IMET (a specialized market fraud policing unit from Alberta RCMP), and Alberta Crown Prosecution Service.
It was assisted by FINTRAC, the Calgary Police Service and the Securities Commission of the Bahamas in its investigation.
McBean was convicted of the crimes in January and was sentenced on May 31, 2023. While it was a record sentence he could have been jailed for up to 14 years.
Following his conviction, one of his victims who wanted to remain anonymous told the Calgary Herald that he had learned “one of life’s lessons” but has since “moved on with his life.”
Some of his victims were less philosophical according to Campbell.
"McBean's fraud was devastating to his victims, some of whom have suffered serious psychological, health and financial harm," she said.
A recent report from TD Bank found that fraud losses in Canada hit an all-time high in 2023.
Along with seven years in jail, McBean was ordered to pay restitution in the amounts of C$1,628,431 and US$424,000 to the investors.
He was also banned for 12 years from being in an employment or volunteer role that involves having authority over the real property, money or valuable security of another person.