Preliminary hearing set for accused fraudster

Dane Michael Skinner is accused of bilking investors out of $2.6 million

A preliminary hearing will be held next September for a man accused of bilking investors out of $2.6 million.

Dane Michael Skinner, of Sylvan Lake, was charged last July with two counts of uttering threats, laundering proceeds of crime and fraud in connection with the alleged scam.

In Red Deer provincial court Wednesday, Crown prosecutor Tony Bell stayed one of the uttering threats charges, a signal the Crown does not intend to pursue it.

Stayed charges can be reactivated within a year, but that rarely happens.

Police allege Skinner was claiming to sell a product that made fracking operations at oil wells cheaper and more environmentally friendly.

Blackfalds RCMP allege at least 16 people sank money into the scheme and backers lost more than $2.6 million. The offences took place between December 2007 and February 2013.

Police, including Red Deer RCMP’s financial crimes unit, began investigating in 2013. Skinner, then 53, was arrested and charged this past July.

Skinner’s preliminary hearing will take place Sept. 23 to 25, 2019 in Red Deer provincial court.

Preliminary hearings are held to determine if there is enough evidence to take a case to trial. Evidence presented at a preliminary hearing is covered by a publication ban.



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