Michael Ritter has pleaded guilty…
Edmonton businessman pleads guilty to stealing $10.5 million
Charles Rusnell, Edmonton Journal
Published: Friday, October 27, 2006
High-profile Edmonton businessman Michael Ritter has pleaded guilty to stealing US $10.5 million and perpetuating a massive fraud scheme in the United States.
Crown and defence lawyers recommended a sentence of 10 years in prison. Judge Elizabeth Johnson of provincial court reserved her decision until Tuesday.
Ritter, Alberta’s former chief parliamentary counsel, pleaded guilty to the charges this morning.
In a 19-page statement of facts entered into provincial court as part of his plea bargain, Ritter admitted he stole US $10.5 million of the $43 million embezzled by a Wall Street energy trader and unwittingly laundered by Newport Pacific Financial Group, Ritter’s financial services company.
Ritter also admitted his role in willfully perpetuating a massive US $270-million fraud scheme that bilked more than 6,500 American investors from its base in Los Angeles.
In return for his guilty pleas, Ritter, 49, evaded extradition to California, where he faced a lengthy list of charges related to the massive fraud scheme.
On a more political note, I found this interesting:
Ritter’s lawyer, Robbie Davidson, tendered 40 character reference letters from such people as former legislature Speaker David Carter and New Democrat MLA Ray Martin.
There is also more Michael Ritter coverage from around the news-world:
Globe & Mail – Alberta man pleads guilty to pair of money scams
Vancover Sun – Edmonton Businessman pleads guilty to international fraud
Edmonton Journal – The man who wasn’t real
Check out the complete MICHAEL RITTER SCANDAL CHRONOLOGY.