Calgary

Milowe Brost's lawyer delivers closing submissions in Ponzi scheme trial

Final arguments have been made on behalf of two Calgary men accused in what police have called the "largest Ponzi-type scheme in Canadian history."

Gary Sorenson also accused of bilking investors out of $400M

Gary Sorensen and Milowe Brost are accused of defrauding hundreds of investors around the world of roughly $400 million in what police have called "the largest Ponzi-type scheme" in Canadian history. (World Investment News/Calgary Sun)

Final arguments have been made on behalf of two Calgary men accused in what police have called the "largest Ponzi-type scheme in Canadian history."

Milowe Brost, 61, and Gary Sorenson, 71, each face two charges of fraud and theft. Their jury trial has been running since September.

Brost is also accused of money laundering.

More than 2,000 investors lost between $100 million to $400 million. All charges stem from business activity between 1999 and 2008.

Sorenson, after dismissing his lawyers earlier in the trial, defended his business decisions in his own closing arguments on Tuesday.

In his closing submissions to the jury today, Brost's lawyer attacked the credibility of several of the Crown's key witnesses: individuals who were involved in the investments and corporations run by Brost and Sorenson.

"The only evidence comes from liars and criminals. It comes from people who have everything to gain from lying."

'Foundation of lies and deceit'

Owen Hoffman, former president of Syndicated Gold Depository — one of the companies involved in the alleged scam — testified for more than two weeks and implicated Brost and Sorenson.

Cory Wilson, one of Brost's lawyers, pointed out to the jury that Hoffman admitted under oath to stealing more than $250,000 from investors yet faced no charges.

"Hoffman was willing to throw anyone under the bus to avoid being hit by it," said Wilson.

Wilson said the Crown’s case was built on a foundation of lies and deceit and failed to prove that Brost had criminal intent to deceive investors.

“The Crown failed in their burden,” Wilson said. “Mr. Brost is innocent.”

The Crown also began its final submissions today. Prosecutor Brian Holtby told the jury Sorenson and Brost pursued a joint criminal enterprise in which each played an active part.

"They never let the truth get in the way of their desire to be rich," Holtby said.

The Crown also has tomorrow to make final submissions.

The jury is expected to begin deliberations on Tuesday.

With files from Meghan Grant

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