Calgary

Decision delayed in multimillion-dollar Calgary fraud and theft case

Two years after a former Calgary lawyer and a former mortgage broker were charged in a multimillion-dollar theft and fraud scheme involving a half-dozen investors, a judge says he needs more time to decide whether one of them is guilty.

Former mortgage broker Brandon Antonini must now wait until July to learn fate on 29 criminal charges

Investor Stuart Hay is listed as one of the alleged victims in the 59 criminal charges laid against against Brandon Antonini and Floyd Campbell. (Bryan Labby/CBC)

It's been 10 years since a now-disgraced Calgary lawyer and a mortgage broker started working together selling homes, offering mortgages and developing vacation projects in Mexico. 

Their partnership unravelled in 2015 when the lawyer, Floyd Campbell, admitted to the Law Society of Alberta: "[Broker] Brandon Antonini and I exhausted our ability to fund the projects through legitimate means."   

"We resorted to various means to obtain funds," he told the law society's resignation committee in statements recorded in its report

Those means allegedly included fraud and theft of at least $5 million from about a half-dozen investors.

On Wednesday, one of the two accused was expected to find out whether a Calgary judge has found him guilty on dozens of criminal charges. However, the judge told the court he needs more time to go through all of the material before reaching a decision. 

The matter has now been adjourned to July 14th. The judge said he will likely need half a day to deliver the decision. 

​At least 20 investigations led to $3.5M payout

Campbell's actions sparked at least 20 investigations by the Alberta Lawyers Insurance Association, which paid out six claims totalling $3,527,854.67.   

He was disbarred in April 2015.

Two months later, Calgary police charged Campbell and Antonini with 29 counts each of theft and fraud. Campbell faced an additional charge of theft involving investor Stuart Hay.

Brandon Antonini, on the left, is expected to learn his fate in provincial court May 10, 2017. Floyd Campbell is scheduled for sentencing this summer. (YouTube/Submitted)

"It's been quite stressful," said Hay.

Hay met the pair in 2008. They became good acquaintances and Hay says he trusted them. Hay used his own money to fund several bridge financing deals and received a decent return for a few years.

In 2012, however, he says everything came to an "abrupt and fast" end. 

Hay says he recovered $365,000 from the lawyer's insurance association in a deal that involved Campbell, but he's still waiting on a claim for over $600,000. 

Campbell pleaded guilty to 1 criminal charge

Campbell and Antonini controlled two numbered companies through which they operated their businesses.

Antonini — who voluntarily withdrew his license as a broker with the Real Estate Council of Alberta — pleaded not guilty. 

Hay — who testified at Antonini's trial earlier this year — is hoping for a guilty decision for Antonini and he'd also like to see jail time for the 45-year-old.

"He needs to go to jail for a long time," said Hay. 

"I think he should go to jail for four to six years. I hope he does get that."

Of the 30 charges Campbell was originally facing, he admitted to one count of theft involving SWA Holdings Incorporated totalling $225,000, according to the Crown prosecutor's office.

It's believed the other 29 charges will be stayed or withdrawn on July 26, when Campbell is scheduled for sentencing.

$1.7M from sale of home misappropriated, according to law society report

One of the charges laid by Calgary police involved the alleged misappropriation of funds from the sale of a $2 million home in northwest Calgary in 2012.

Floyd Campbell admitted to the Law Society of Alberta to misappropriating $1.7 million from the sale of this home in northwest Calgary. His wife, former Olympian Susan Auch, was the realtor in the February, 2012 transaction. (Google Streetview)

Campbell told the law society's resignation committee, according to its report, that he deposited the funds from the sale of the home into his trust account.

But instead of transferring the money to the sellers, he used more than $1.7 million to help pay for his various businesses and ventures, including developments in Huatulco, Mexico, the report said.

Campbell acted as the lawyer for the vendors, while his wife, Susan Auch, was the realtor in the sale.

Former Olympic speedskater Susan Auch and her husband, Floyd Campbell.

Auch, a former Olympic speedskater, was a shareholder in one of the companies controlled by Campbell and Antonini.

However Auch did not have signing authority for the company's bank account and has not been charged in any of the matters involving her husband.   


Bryan Labby is an investigative reporter with CBC Calgary. If you have a good story idea or tip, you can reach him at bryan.labby@cbc.ca or on Twitter at @CBCBryan.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bryan Labby

Enterprise reporter

Bryan Labby is an enterprise reporter with CBC Calgary. If you have a good story idea or tip, you can reach him at bryan.labby@cbc.ca or on Twitter at @CBCBryan.

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