One of two men accused of creating a Ponzi-type scheme that is alleged to have defrauded investors of millions of dollars can leave Alberta to visit his ailing mother.
A judge in Calgary altered Gary Sorenson's bail conditions on Monday so he can travel to British Columbia to see his mother, as long as he meets several conditions, including reporting to the local RCMP detachment
Sorenson and Milowe Brost of Chestermere are charged with fraud and theft over $5,000.
Police allege thousands of investors in Canada, the United States and overseas were swindled.
Investigators say the scheme involved a company called Syndicated Gold Depository S.A. lending money to Merendon Mining Corporation Ltd. There were no legitimate investments, police allege, and returns were paid out of distributions from other investors. Police allege the men bilked 3,000 people out of at least $100 million between 1999 and 2008.
Brost was in court Monday morning, but Sorenson was not. Both accused are scheduled for a next appearance in March.
Sorenson was arrested at the Calgary airport in September after what police described as voluntarily returning to Canada from an undisclosed location. His last known address was in Honduras.
The court case will likely be long and complicated because of tens of thousands of documents involved.
"One simple real estate transaction can generate somewhere between 100 and 300 pages of material," said Don MacLeod, Sorenson's lawyer. "That gives you some sort of frame of reference. Commercial cases generate paper. It's a simple truism."