Disgraced former lawyer who swindled investors out of millions won't face jail time

Disgraced former lawyer who swindled investors out of millions won't face jail time

A former Calgary lawyer who helped swindle real-estate investors out of millions of dollars will not see jail time.

Floyd Campbell, who now lives in Manitoba, was sentenced in Calgary Wednesday to two years less a day for theft. He is to be under house arrest for the first year of his sentence.

Provincial court Judge Anne Brown said that despite the "particularly egregious" breach of trust shown by Campbell, his case represented a "textbook example" for a community-based sentence. 

Campbell, 48, had admitted to the Law Society of Alberta to misappropriating at least $3.5 million. 

The money was taken from investors who had provided funding for various bridge financing deals involving homeowners who had no knowledge their properties were being used in the scheme.

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He was originally charged with 30 counts of fraud and theft but ended up pleading guilty to just one count of theft over $5,000.

In that instance, Campbell stole $225,000 from an investor in 2012. It's believed the money was used to prop up Campbell's failing resort development in Mexico.  The money was supposed to be held in Campbell's trust account.  

Campbell shows 'an abundance of remorse': judge

Brown said Campbell is a low risk to re-offend, has shown "an abundance of remorse" and co-operated with the Law Society of Alberta and the Crown prosecutor's office. 

In the second year of his sentence, restrictions will be eased and he'll be under curfew from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. 

Campbell will also be on probation for one year following the end of his conditional sentence.

He was ordered to complete 240 hours of community service, which Brown acknowledged shouldn't be too onerous because of Campbell's involvement as a swim coach. 

Campbell will not be allowed to directly market his properties in Mexico, which contributed to his downfall.  

Victims angry that he 'got off with nothing'

Pamela Rath's parents lost $1.7 million after Campbell admitted to the Law Society of Alberta that he misappropriated the funds from the sale of their home.  

Rath was disappointed with the sentence and wanted to see Campbell spend time in jail. 

"He really got off with nothing, he gets to stay at home. I don't think that does anything for the victims of his crimes, nothing," said Rath.

Crown prosecutor Peter Mackenzie asked for an 18- to 24-month jail sentence. Outside court on Wednesday, he said the conditional sentence was not unexpected. 

Mackenzie said he would review the sentence before making a decision on an appeal.

In July, Campbell's lawyer, Derek Jugnauth argued his client should receive the conditional sentence order, which was ultimately imposed.

Alternatively — if the judge was going to incarcerate his client — Jugnauth proposed a sentence of at least two years, meaning Campbell would have to serve the time in a federal institution. 

That would have allowed Campbell to be eligible for a transfer to a federal facility in Manitoba, where he currently lives with his family. 

Brown decided that Campbell could serve the conditional sentence at the family's rural property outside Winnipeg and waived the requirement for him to report to probation officials in Alberta. 

Campbell's co-accused, Brandon Antonini, will be sentenced in November. 

Antonini was found guilty of 23 counts of fraud and theft related to the bridge financing scheme that Calgary police said resulted in investors losing $5 million.