CALGARY – The co-founder of an Alberta oil and gas company has been sentenced to five years in prison for defrauding Arcan Resources Ltd., which he established with his brother and another man.
Ian Wilson Fisher, 54, pleaded guilty Tuesday to fraud over $5,000, after being charged in August 2015.
According to an agreed statement of facts, Fisher was operations manager at the time and created shell companies in 2008 and then made dozens of false invoices billing close to $5 million.
Defence lawyer Adriano Iovinelli said his client never denied the allegations, but “it was just about determining what an appropriate sentence would be” and reaching a joint plea deal.
Crown prosecutor Steven Johnston said he hopes the penalty sends a message “if you commit fraud and steal from your employer, you’re going to the penitentiary.”
Court was told Fisher splurged on himself, buying a house in the resort community of Peachland, B.C., and blowing money on drugs.
Doug Penner, former CFO of Arcan Resources, said there were a number of victims and the impact on the company was immeasurable.
“I lost almost all of my savings. I lost my job, the company, my career,” he said. “There’s a lot of victims besides myself personally, all the staff were painted with that brush.”
Aspenleaf Energy Ltd. has since purchased the assets of Arcan.