Millionaire who missed sentencing while in Russian hospital arrested in Calgary

The Calgary millionaire who paid police officers to stalk his ex-girlfriend is back on Canadian soil after warrants were issued because he missed his sentencing hearing while in Russia.

Ken Carter paid private investigation firm nearly $1M to harass his ex-girlfriend

Ken Carter, a former Jenny Craig franchise owner who is said to be worth $80 million, missed his sentencing date while in Russia. He was arrested and released on Dec. 21 after returning to Canada. (Submitted)

The Calgary millionaire who paid police officers to stalk his ex-girlfriend is back on Canadian soil after warrants were issued when he missed court dates for sentencing while in Russia.

Ken Carter was arrested at the Calgary International Airport on Dec. 21 and then released on $200,000 cash bail. The 59-year-old was ordered to surrender his passport.

"We're happy he's returned to Canada and sentencing can be completed," said prosecutor Katherine Love.

In June, Carter was to be sentenced for criminal harassment but did not show up at court. Defence lawyer Gavin Wolch explained that his client was in a hospital in Russia suffering from medical issues.

Wolch declined CBC News's request for a comment.

At first, Wolch indicated his client was unable to travel because of a heart issue. Later, he presented the court with a letter from a Russian doctor who indicated Carter was suffering from something different that makes flying dangerous for his health.

Wolch called the information "delicate" and said Carter should have "privacy over his medical circumstances" and asked the judge to keep all specific references to his client's condition from being mentioned on the court record. 

A letter from the Russian hospital said Carter was admitted on June 10, the same day he was to return to Calgary, according to his travel documents. 

But while Carter's departing flight from Calgary on June 3 cost $3,250 for a seat in premium business class, his return flight from London for travel on June 9 to Calgary cost $652 and was for an economy class seat. 

During the trial, court heard that in 2012 and 2013, Carter paid nearly $1 million to retired CPS officer Steve Walton and his wife, Heather Walton, who ran an unlicensed private investigation (PI) firm. 

After a bitter breakup with ex-girlfriend Akele Taylor, Carter hired the Waltons in an effort to force his ex to give up custody of the daughter they shared.

In turn, the Waltons used their connections to access Calgary Police Service resources.

Steve Walton, a former 25-year member of CPS who worked as a drug expert, was found guilty of criminal harassment as well as bribing an officer and improper storage of a firearm.

Heather Walton — a former civilian employee of the police service — was convicted of bribing an officer and on the firearm charge.

Steve was handed a three-year sentence while Heather received a 15-month term, which she will be allowed to serve in the community under strict conditions, including 24-hour house arrest.

In a separate, earlier trial, three current and former police officers who worked for the Waltons — Bryan Morton, Brad McNish and Tony Braile — were convicted of corruption-related offences for their participation in the harassment of Taylor. 

Carter will be back in court on Jan. 20 so lawyers can discuss the next steps and likely set a date for sentencing.

About the Author

Meghan Grant

CBC Calgary reporter

Meghan Grant is the courts and crime reporter for CBC Calgary.