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Thursday, June 22, 2006

the michael ritter scandal chronology.

This blog has seems to have become a one-stop-shop for information dealing with former Edmonton "lawyer," Chief Consel to the Alberta Legislative Assembly, business owner, philanthropist, and international man of financial skullduggery Michael Ritter. For the information of all daveberta readers and interested suspects, here is a chronology of all Michael Ritter related posts on this blog.

Feel free to comment and discuss.

The list will be updated as new posts are added.

Very Bad Men "The Man Without a Conscience" - Tonight (April 15, 2008)
Ritter Loses Appeal (December 11, 2007)
Michael Ritter scandal documentary (November 10, 2007)
Michael Ritter gets ten (November 1, 2006)
Where Ritter put the money (October 28, 2006)
Ritter pleads guilty (October 28, 2006)
One week left for Ritter (October 21, 2006)
Ritter gets Six (August 3, 2006)
Ritter Guilty of Passport Charge (August 2, 2006)
Fate on a Passport (August 2, 2006)
Clear as Mud. (August 2, 2006)
Ritter fails "to establish an air of reality" (July 31, 2006)
More Michael Ritter Scandal Action (July 9, 2006)
Col. Ritter in the Boardroom with the Ponzi Scheme (July 5, 2006)
The Western Standard on Ritter (June 21, 2006)
I'm sure Belize is nice in June. Ask Adam D'Orleans... err, Michael Ritter (June 20, 2006)
More Michael Ritter Madness (April 26, 2006)
The Michael Ritter Scandal Continues (April 25, 2006)
Summertime in Belize (April 24, 2006)
Michael Ritter Scandal Update (December 20, 2005)
Gordon gets 42 months for $43 billion (October 14, 2005)
Jailhouse Blues for Ritter (October 2, 2005)
The Michael Ritter Saga Continued (Sept 24, 2005)
Who let the Ritter out? Who? Who? Who? Who? (Sept 15, 2005)
When Visa Isn't Enough: The Michael Ritter Story (Sept 14, 2005)

Here is a Michael Ritter scandal timeline provided by the Edmonton Journal on October 28, 2006.

DIARY OF A DOWNFALL
March 1, 2001: Michael Ritter's financial services company, Newport Pacific Financial Group, hires Paul Hoag as its vice-president. Five months later, Newport hires Hoag's wife, Susan Edwards, as office administrator.

Jan. 28, 2002: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is granted a temporary restraining order against J.T. Wallenbrock, a Los Angeles-based trust company accused of selling unregistered securities as part of a massive pyramid fraud scheme.

July 11, 2002: Hoag and Edwards tell Ritter they want out of Newport and raise concerns about the company's relationship with J.T. Wallenbrock and its owner, Larry Osaki.

July 15, 2002: Hoag, according to Ritter, asks for a severance payment of $600,000. Ritter refuses.

August 2002: Hoag and Edwards file complaints against Ritter and Newport with the Alberta Securities Commission, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the RCMP.

September 2002: Jeremy Carter, Ritter's executive assistant, asks Hoag to return two highly confidential files Ritter believes Hoag has taken.

Oct. 9, 2002: Ritter and his lawyer, accompanied by several Edmonton police officers, execute a civil-court search on the home of Hoag and Edwards. They seize boxes of documents allegedly taken from Newport. Ritter then sues Hoag, Edwards and two other Newport employees for $40 million, alleging a conspiracy to undermine the company and steal its clients. The lawsuit is sealed by court order, allegedly to protect Newport's clients. The former employees later countersue for $1.5 million, claiming wrongful dismissal, harassment, theft and abuse of process.

December 2002: RCMP raid Ritter's office and home, searching for evidence implicating him in the pyramid scheme and the laundering of $43 million US that Wall Street energy trader Dan Gordon had stolen from his employer, Merrill Lynch.The raid doesn't come to light until The Journal obtains the search warrants three months later.

Feb. 26, 2003: The Journal and other media outlets are successful in unsealing Ritter's lawsuit. It contains sensational allegations that he was involved in helping perpetuate a massive and fraudulent pyramid scheme in California after it was shut down by the SEC. It is also alleged Ritter fabricated parts of his resume, including his legal credentials. In a news conference, Ritter denies all the allegations and claims he is the victim of a "drive-by smear campaign" by disgruntled employees.

March 19, 2003: A judge issues an order freezing two private airplanes, a condo and an Oilers skybox, which RCMP allege were bought with money laundered by Ritter on behalf of Gordon.

Sept. 10, 2003: Ritter files a $300-million lawsuit against James H. Donell, the Los Angeles receiver hired by the SEC to handle the dismantling of J.T. Wallenbrock. The lawsuit alleges Donell used his website to connect Ritter and a company he set up in Belize called Village Capital Trust to criminal fraud.

Oct. 8, 2003: Osaki, the owner of J.T. Wallenbrock, is arrested and charged with operating a $270-million US pyramid scheme. An affidavit filed with the arrest alleges Ritter helped Osaki keep the scheme operating after American authorities had shut it down.

Oct. 28, 2003: RCMP arrest Ritter after he is indicted in Los Angeles on charges of securities fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, obstruction of justice, money laundering, criminal contempt and other charges in relation to the pyramid scheme. Ritter is released on $250,000 bail and denies the charges. Carter, his executive assistant, is also charged. American authorities say Ritter could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted.

Feb. 7, 2004: After pleading guilty in New York, Gordon tells American authorities that Ritter did not conspire with him to launder the stolen money.

Feb. 28, 2005: Carter pleads guilty to helping the pyramid scheme continue.

March 22, 2005: Osaki pleads guilty to operating the pyramid scheme. He is sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Sept. 9, 2005: The RCMP charge Ritter in connection with the theft and money laundering of $43 million US stolen by Gordon. Ritter is denied bail.

Jan. 23, 2006: The RCMP charge Ritter with breach of recognizance for obtaining a Belizean passport under an assumed name in violation of his previous bail conditions. Edmonton lawyer Casey O'Byrne is charged with aiding Ritter to breach the recognizance. O'Byrne denies the charge.

July 30, 2006: The Court of Queen's Bench rules against Ritter on a crucial legal argument in his fight to avoid extradition to the United States.

Aug. 30, 2006: Ritter is sentenced to six months in prison for breach of recognizance.

Oct. 20, 2006: Ritter agrees to plead guilty to two new charges in Edmonton to avoid extradition to the U.S. He agrees to plead guilty to stealing $10.5 million US from Gordon and to helping perpetuate the American pyramid scheme.

Oct. 27, 2006: Ritter pleads guilty. The Crown and defence recommend a sentence of 10 years, to be served in Canada.

8 comments:

canleaf said...

I had no idea who he was or what he did until I read all of this. You're right, this would make a great movie :) lol

So what's the word among the elite in Alberta about this Ritter guy?

Anonymous said...

The whole Mike Ritter story is so SAUCY! :-)
-ThebadMJ

Anonymous said...

Throughout the 90's, Mike was the 'Speaker' for the U of A Model Parliament. He did an excellent job educating the 80 or so political party club members on the rules of parliamentary procedure and traditions. I saw him at a new Edmonton symphony by former ESO maestro, Novak, that he was supposedly donating to. I asked him if was participating in Model Parliament, he said he hadn't been invited and asked me to find out why. So I found out why, and it was pretty obvious, so I didn't tell him.

Anonymous said...

I am impressed with the diligence exibited on your Ritter chronology.
I would like to know what happened to the whistle blower employees, that were involved in his demise. I heard of suits and counter suits but no results. Also, did they find ALL the money?

Anonymous said...

By TONY BLAIS, COURT BUREAU
Edmonton Sun _ October 21, 2006

Michael Ritter - a high-profile Edmonton businessman and Alberta's former chief parliamentary counsel - is slated to be sentenced next week, court heard yesterday.

However, it won't be known until Friday what exactly the 49-year-old financier is going to plead guilty to.

Defence lawyer Robbie Davidson appeared in provincial court on behalf of Ritter, who is in custody at the Fort Saskatchewan correctional facility, and the matter was set over for sentencing to Friday, Oct. 27.

According to the docket, Ritter was facing charges laid in 2005 of laundering the proceeds of crime, possession of stolen property, fraud over $5,000 and theft over $5,000.

As well, the court record indicated he was making his first appearance on new charges of fraud over $5,000 and theft over $5,000, which are believed to be amended counts stemming from the original charges in 2005.



It is alleged Ritter stole or unlawfully possessed $43 million US paid by Merrill Lynch Capital Services Inc. to a savings account held by Falcon Energy Holdings, a company incorporated in the Caribbean country of Anguilla.

It is also alleged Ritter stole or unlawfully possessed $10.5 million US which remains in a savings account controlled by Newport Pacific Financial Group, an offshore company run by Ritter.

The crimes are alleged to have occurred between August 2000 and August 2003.

Ritter is also facing extradition proceedings to the United States concerning an alleged Ponzi scheme, where more than $250 million was collected from nearly 7,000 victims between 1992 and 2002.

According to the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission, Ponzi schemes are pyramid investment scams in which money from later investors is used to pay earlier ones.

Anonymous said...

jon p lennox

Anonymous said...

This whole story on Mike is both puzzling and yet not un-expected. Unlike the many posters to
this blog, I have known, first met, Mike 25 years ago when he was half his age and so was I. If
Mike or his friends/lawyers watch this blog, then they can relay to Mike it was over the matter of
the Atlas Commerce Bank - London gold transaction. The puzzling thing is that it was a member
of the CIA (really) that introduced this new young lawyer as representing a gold transaction. The
truth was there really was a transaction. etc. etc. I also know that it was in 1987 that again it was
the USG that asked me to get Mike involved in another business matter. You would think that
the US Pentagon would know the whole background of the fellow if they had specifically ask me
to get Mike involved in the business, moving money. So this whole thing while it looks good on
the outside, something doesn’t smell right.

Hey Mike, have you had any California avocados lately ?? (No that is not a reference to some thing in drag. I LIKE girls.)

Devin said...

Dave:

I went to law school with Jeremy...

d