Milowe Brost's appeal of Ponzi scheme conviction dismissed

Milowe Brost's appeal of Ponzi scheme conviction dismissed

A Calgary man convicted in one of the largest Ponzi schemes in Canadian history had his appeal denied on Wednesday.

Milowe Brost was convicted in 2015 and sentenced to 12 years in prison, along with co-accused Gary Sorenson.

A jury found the pair guilty of fraud and theft in relation to an elaborate scheme in which investors were promised unrealistic returns.

Brost was also found guilty of money laundering.

More than 2,400 investors are estimated to have lost a combined total of between $100 million to $400 million in the scheme, many of them losing their life savings.

Brost appealed his conviction on several grounds, all of which were rejected in a page-and-a-half-long judgment released Wednesday by the Alberta Court of Appeal.

Arguments

He tried to argue that his co-accused's comments during closing statements amounted to a confession and influenced the jury against him.

But the appeal court found the comments "did not implicate" Brost and the trial judge "reasonably concluded" they did not undermine the trial's fairness.

The appeal judges' decision also found no problem with the character evidence provided by one witness against Brost, nor with the trial judge's decision to discharge one juror who developed a stomach illness on the fourth day of deliberations.

In general, the court found the appeal "failed to establish" any error by the trial judge or any miscarriage of justice.

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