Lethbridge (July 31, 2020) – Lethbridge Police Service laid charges against Josef Korec and Dustin Ritter from southern Alberta in connection with an alleged multi-million dollar investment fraud. They are accused of defrauding a Lethbridge man out of more than $3.1 million during an alleged funding scam. They agreed to finance a major project of the victim, who was seeking $25 million, through the Calgary-based investment company RAEU Global. The man provided the required ‘down payment’, but he never received the loan. Officers arrested Ritter on July 23 in Okotoks. However, Korec fled Canada before he could be taken into custody.
The Lethbridge police laid charges after an ‘extensive, long-term investigation’ against two men from southern Alberta in an alleged multi-million dollar funding scam investigation, according to a press release issued on July 30. The Economic Crimes unit believes that the 46-year old, Josef Korec and the 36-year-old, Dustin Ritter were playing key roles in the alleged investment fraud using the Calgary-based investment company RAEU Global.
Multi-million dollars lost in funding scam
The two-year investigation led Lethbridge officers through multiple jurisdictions across Alberta, B.C., and Saskatchewan. The alleged victim, a Lethbridge man, lost over $3.1 million while seeking funding for a major project in Ontario. He required $25 million to proceed with his venture.
Police said, RAEU Global and Taurus Capital – an Okotoks brokering firm – agreed to provide the money to the Lethbridge man. As part of the deal, the alleged victim was supposed to make a ‘down payment’ over $3.1 million. He supposedly raised the down payment through several of his own investors. Subsequently, he met with RAEU representatives multiple times to complete the transaction, according to the police press release.
Finally, the Lethbridge businessman paid the down payment as requested. However, he never received the promised loan to fund his project.
During the investigation, officers discovered that the ‘down payment’ funds were taken and transferred to bank accounts belonging to associates of RAEU. Apparently, several of the accounts are located in the Czech Republic.
Police laid charges and issued warrant for arrest
As a result of the fraud investigation, Lethbridge police laid charges against Korec and Ritter. Ritter has been charged with fraud over $5,000 and possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000. On July 23, officers arrested him. The Okotoks man has been released from custody and is scheduled to appear in court in Lethbridge on September 3.
The police charged Korec with fraud over $5,000, possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000, and money laundering. However, the Calgary man fled Canada before he could be arrested. The police believe he is currently residing in the Czech Republic. A warrant for his arrest has been issued.