Concrete Equities exec apologizes to victims of $20-million fraud

Before he shuffled out of the Calgary courtroom to begin serving his six-year prison sentence, former Concrete Equities executive David Humeniuk wiped away tears and offered an apology to the 1,200 victims of his $20-million fraud.

David Humeniuk receives six-year sentence for defrauding 1,200 investors

Former Concrete Equities executive David Humeniuk was given a six-year sentence on Friday for his role in defrauding more than 1,000 investors. He'll likely serve only one year in federal prison. (Meghan Grant/CBC)

Before he shuffled out of the Calgary courtroom to begin serving his six-year prison sentence, former Concrete Equities executive David Humeniuk wiped away tears and offered an apology to the 1,200 victims of his $20-million fraud.

"I have taken responsibility for my actions, which have caused pain, stress and economic hardship," said Humeniuk in a written letter read by his lawyer, Yoav Niv.

"I am truly sorry.... I regret that I did not protect the investor's interests."

Humeniuk, 68, pleaded guilty in October to a charge of fraud over $5,000.

In December, on the day Humeniuk was supposed to begin serving his sentence, he turfed his lawyers — the fraud specialty team of Shamsher Kothari and Cory Wilson — in an effort to vacate his guilty plea and avoid going to prison.

In a second letter read by Niv, Humeniuk also offered an apology for delaying his sentence calling it a "bad decision."

"I was extremely emotional and under a great deal of stress, worried about how wife would survive," he said.

Humeniuk has been in custody at the Calgary Remand Centre since December but will now be moved to a federal prison where he'll likely serve one sixth of his sentence.

One investor lost $1 million in the scam, which lasted from June 2007 to May 2009.

92 victim impact statements filed

Niv and prosecutor Steven Johnston made a joint submission for a six-year sentence, which was accepted by Court of Queen's Bench Justice Bruce Millar.

Although none of the victim impact statements were read aloud in court, 92 were filed with the court.

Concrete Equities investors protest outside the Concrete Equities's office in Calgary in June 2009. From 2006 to 2009, top executives defrauded about 1,200 investors of more than $20 million. (Terry Town)

In his submissions, Johnston said the victims suffered much more than a financial impact.

Many detailed broken marriages, mental illnesses and loss of trust in people.

"That's sad that that happens and it's Mr. Humineuk that did that to those people," said Johnston.

Throughout the hour-long hearing, Humineuk sat in the prisoner's box in a blue remand centre-issued jumpsuit rubbing his eyes.

Concrete Equities and associated businesses sold securities derived from a fund that invested in office buildings in Calgary and land deals in Mexico.

"Some projects ... were being stolen from to fund other projects," said Johnston.

In 2016, Varun Aurora, 33, pleaded guilty to the same charge and received a two-year sentence, which he was allowed to serve in the community, in part because he paid back $1 million in restitution.