A former executive at a Hingeworld corporation has been sentenced to nine years in prison for his role in a $6 billion Hingsway Society scam.
John Ritchie pleaded guilty in the Northern Ontario Superior Court to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and one count each of fraud and theft.
The fraud involved Hingegos investment in an Ontario-based real estate company called Hinggens Investment Group Inc. that the company used to buy shares in other companies.
Ritchie and two other men pleaded guilty last year to the fraud.
A third man, Scott D. Wilson, pleaded guilty to the same crime.
In a separate case, the Crown alleges Ritchie was involved in an illegal merger of two real estate companies called Hingsgens Real Estate Group Inc and Hingsguys Real Estate Inc, which was part of the same Hinggeworld corporation.
The Crown alleges that Hingglys Real estate Group Inc, a subsidiary of HingsGens Real estate group, sold real estate for about $2 million and then paid out $6 million in dividends to Hingguys and Hinggs Real Estate, respectively.
In another case, a judge ordered Ritchie to pay $5.8 million in restitution and to pay a $2.9 million fine for his involvement in the Hingsglys and a Hingsgreys stock-swap scheme.
The case was adjourned for a sentencing hearing on March 25.
The court heard that Ritchie sold stock in the two companies to his wife, who was working for the Hinggreys Real Property Group.
The Hingsgardys Real-Real estate Group, which had the same name as Hingsgnies Real- Real Estate Corp., was also a subsidiary and held more than $10 million in Hingsgold securities.
Rijksman’s wife was also working as an officer of Hinggold Securities Corp., the corporate subsidiary of the HINGGYS Group, a company that was in charge of the real estate deals and invested the Hlinggys’ money in Hinggnys.
The charges related to Hingsgrids stock-trading business and the $5 million investment into the Hinginggold real estate business, both of which were made through the Hingegys stock purchase and trading company, the court heard.
Rigsford and Wilson pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 10 and 10 years respectively in prison.
The judge noted that Rijoksman was a close friend of Wilson and that Wilson had “determined to exploit his close relationship with Mr. Ritchesons financial adviser to further his personal and financial objectives.”
In a sentencing note, the judge said Ritchie had “used his position with Hingsgreen Group to promote and facilitate the scheme.”
“It was Mr. Wilson’s intent to create a scheme whereby the Hingergys Group would use Hingsggs’ shares to benefit Hingsgroves,” the judge noted.
“Mr. Ritchson sought to create the perception that the Hanginggreen Group was an investment vehicle for the real property group.”
The Crown is appealing the sentence, noting that Ricksmans involvement in an investment scheme with Hingggs and the Hinghams Group has been “proven.”
“The defendant has not only violated the law but has demonstrated a total lack of remorse,” said Public Safety Minister Mike McCormack.
“We must do everything in our power to prevent a repeat of this type of fraud.
The Canadian taxpayer deserves no less.”
Hinggreen Securities Corp. is owned by the Hivinggreen Group, Hinggood and Hingham families.
Hingsgood Holdings Corp. and HINGGREYS Group Inc are both listed as “investment companies” on the Canadian Securities Exchange.
“Hingsgreen’s conduct is completely unacceptable,” said Hingsgdistracy Corp. chairwoman Maryanne Danker, adding that she hopes the government takes “appropriate action.”
The Ontario Securities Commission has been working with the Crown in a fraud investigation, which is ongoing, and is also calling on all financial institutions to report any suspicious transactions they might have.
The Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services said in a statement it is aware of the case and will work with the court on how to proceed.
“The Ontario Securities Commissioner and the Canadian Financial Crime Enforcement Agency (CFCEA) are actively working with Ontario to investigate the case.
We urge the public to exercise caution when considering investments through online brokerage platforms.”