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B.C. real estate fraudster sentenced to 5 years jail in Calgary

Brian Kitts was also ordered to pay back over $1.3 million in restitution
Brian and Shannon Kitts, of Summerland. (Facebook)

A former Summerland man who scammed more than $5 million from investors was sentenced to five years in jail in Calgary in 2023.

Brian Kitts, 67, was sentenced in the Court of the King’s Bench of Alberta on Oct. 3, 2023.

In addition to the five years in jail, Kitts was also ordered to pay restitution of $1,359,305.40, Darryl Ruether, communications for the court confirmed.

Kitts and his wife had been arrested in Summerland in 2021 and extradited to Calgary following the fraud findings from the Alberta Securities Commission.

The commission’s report had found that Kitts had swindled at least 38 investors out of $4.3 million CAD and more than $850,000 USD between 2014 and 2016.

The fraud as it was described had the hallmarks of a classic Ponzi scheme, using subsequent investors to pay back the first ones while claiming the returns were from investments into real estate that never actually happened.

READ MORE: Summerland couple charged in Ponzi scheme

In addition to barring Kitts from dealing in securities or derivatives in Alberta and barring him from any investment fund or investor relations activities, the commission separately from the courts ordered Kitts and his company to pay $1,960,457 of fraudulently obtained money, an administrative penalty of $600,000 and $150,000 for the costs of the investigation and hearing.

In its decision, the commission’s panel said Kitts’ misconduct was “egregious” and that Kitts “planned to defraud innocent investors from the outset.”

The case was not the first one, as it was noted in the commission’s report that Kitts was the subject of criminal proceedings in Utah that started in 2007 and led to a permanent ban from dealing in securities in 2014.

After pleading no contest to on charge of second degree felony securities fraud and two counts of third-degree felony theft, Kitts left the U.S. and came to Canada before he was sentenced.

The Alberta Securities Commission report said Kitts was “seemingly an unrepentant recidivist.”

Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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