It wasn’t the ideal Valentines Day for Nicholas John Felgate, as the Rocky View County resident endured his first court appearance for nine criminal charges related to fraud and money laundering.
According to a press release from the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC), Felgate faces eight counts of fraud over $5,000 and one count of laundering crime proceeds. The press release stated the investments were made pursuant to documents variously referred to by Felgate as lender/loan agreements, asset agreements, loan agreements or promissory notes.
Hilary McMeekin, ASC’s manager of communications, cautioned the charges have not been proven in court.
“He’s alleged to have fraudulently raised over $2 million from 11 investors in a number of Alberta communities, including Camrose, Killam, Airdrie, Calgary, Medicine Hat, and surrounding areas,” she said.
As reported in the Medicine Hat News, the ASC launched an investigation into Felgate’s actions in February 2019, alleging he had secured $380,000 from a “vulnerable” senior citizen, before using the cash to pay off debts and for personal use.
The most recent charges come after the ASC issued an Interim Cease Trade Order (ICTO) against Felgate in March 2018, which required him to cease trading in all securities. The ICTO barred him from using exemptions contained in the Alberta Securities Act.
However, Felgate’s fraudulent activities are alleged to have continued after ICTO was issued, which, according to McMeekin, led to the nine criminal charges being laid. The investigation was a joint effort undertaken by the Joint Serious Offences Team (JSOT) – a partnership between the ASC, Alberta RCMP and Alberta Crown Prosecution Service. JSOT investigates and prosecutes quasi-criminal cases under the Securities Act and certain criminal offences under the Criminal Code.
“Our investigation has been going on for some time and we did issue the ICTO in the hopes that would stop any further activities,” McMeekin said. “But based on our investigation, we needed to take this step and charge him criminally.”
Felgate’s first court appearance was held at the Provincial Court of Alberta in downtown Calgary. According to McMeekin, his bail was set at $10,000, with “numerous other conditions.” His next court appearance is set for April 1.
McMeekin said the ASC encourages residents who have been solicited by or in communication with Felgate to contact the commission by calling toll-free at 1-877-355-4488 or emailing email@example.com
“The more information we have, the better,” she said.