Home Business Calgary man who played role in $23M Concrete Equities fraud won't see...

Calgary man who played role in $23M Concrete Equities fraud won’t see jail


The Calgary man who played a part in a $23-million investment scheme won’t serve time behind bars for his role in the fraud.

Provincial court Judge Joanne Durant on Wednesday agreed with a joint Crown and defence submission to hand Varun (Vinny) Aurora a conditional sentence for his participation in a fraud run by Concrete Equities Inc. (CEI).

Durant said during the first six months of Aurora’s sentence of two years less a day, he will be under house arrest.

He’ll have to abide by a nightly curfew for the following 14 months and must perform 240 hours of community service, the judge ruled.

Aurora pleaded guilty last week to fraud over $5,000 in a scheme focused on Mexican real estate investments.

One of those scammed was his own father, who lost the largest amount — $901,000 — in the fraud run by CEI that roped in 1,200 investors

Durant said there were several mitigating factors which justified sparing Aurora jail time, primarily the fact he pleaded guilty and his role in the fraud was limited.

But she also noted his part in the scheme left many victims in its wake.

She said statements provided by nearly 100 victims to the court spoke of “betrayal, anger, embarrassment, violation (and) shame.

“And in one case suicidal thoughts,” Durant said.

“Some have lost their homes.”

Durant said that unlike so many other fraud cases, however, Aurora didn’t benefit financially for his part in the scam.

The plot, which began in 2007, sold investor units in a Mexican development known as the El Golfo project, whose purchase price Concrete Equities greatly inflated for investors.

The company, said Crown prosecutor Steven Johnston at last week’s sentencing hearing, “purchased it for less and just pocketed the money.”

“It was an advanced hucksters’ scheme that sold people real estate that absolutely didn’t exist.”

Some of the investors’ cash was also moved into other investments not known to them, while the supposed ringleader, David Nelson Humeniuk, allegedly pocketed $1 million.

While Aurora‘s role was more supportive than leading, he signed off on offering memos and was “willfully blind” to the scam, said an agreed statement of facts.

It also stated “to the extent that money which was raised for the El Golfo project was being transferred or lent to other CEI businesses, Mr. Aurora was an officer and should have known about those transactions.”

Durant noted that since the losses exceeded $1-million, Aurora would be looking at an automatic penitentiary term today because of changes in the legislation made after the crime was committed.

Most Popular

High-profile gangster Gary Kang gunned down inside parents’ house

Kang pleaded guilty last month to several charges related to a massive 2018 Vancouver police investigation and was awaiting sentencing. By Kim Bolan A high-profile Lower...

Richmond murder is suspected retaliation for Kang hit, sources say

By Kim Bolan A convicted drug-trafficker with links to the Wolf Pack and Brothers Keepers (BK) gang was shot to death in Richmond on Thursday...

Mayor of Castlegar resigns following backlash over trip to family cabin

Vancouver: (Vancouver Sun) The mayor of a B.C. city in the West Kootenays has quit following backlash over a trip he took with his...

Thousands of Canadians still travelling to Hawaii, despite pandemic

TORONTO -(CTV News)- In the wake of several Canadian elected officials being caught travelling over the holidays – despite federal health guidelines stating non-essential...