Sylvan Lake man accused in multmillion oilpatch fraud assures judge he has a lawyer

Police allege investors in oilpatch technology were bilked out of $2.6 million

A Sylvan Lake man accused in a multimillion-dollar oilpatch fraud scheme assured a judge on Monday that he has lined up a new lawyer.

Dane Michael Skinner told Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Kent Davidson that he was due to meet with his new lawyer, whom he did not name, on Feb. 19.

Skinner complained that he had been waiting for disclosure — facts of the case, including the evidence against him — since May.

Special Crown prosecutor Peter Mackenzie disputed that, saying Skinner’s previous lawyer had been given all the information. In November, Skinner was given disclosure for a second time.

Mackenzie said Skinner argued the second package was “deficient,” which turned out to be the case. However, the problem was fixed in mid-January, Mackenzie told the judge.

Skinner is due back in court on April 6 to give Justice Marilyn Slawinsky an update on the progress of the case, which is set for a seven-week trial beginning in March 2021.

Skinner has been charged with fraud, uttering threats and laundering the proceeds of crime.

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

An officer with the RCMP’s commercial crime unit said when the charges were announced in July 2018, that investors were pitched an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a revolutionary new fracking product.

The technology had never been tested in a commercial setting or at a real oil well, police allege. It is also alleged investors were wrongly led to believe the technology was about to be sold to another company, leading to a financial windfall.

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 February 2013 and December 2007.

Police, including Red Deer RCMP’s financial crimes unit, began investigating in 2013.

Skinner, then 53, was arrested and charged in July 2018.

News tips

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Third Albertan dies, 46 cases in central zone

A third Albertan has died from COVID-19, province announced Sunday. Forty additional… Continue reading

A message from the Advocate publisher

In good times and bad, The Red Deer Advocate has been here… Continue reading

Vaccine not expected until January 2021 for COVID-19, video posted on Alberta premier’s Facebook page shows

Premier Jason Kenney and Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw discuss vaccines

Red Deer: Put a bear in your window so kids can count them

Red Deer woman wants kids to go on ‘bear hunt’

City of Red Deer asks residents to help protect the pipes

Products that can cause blockages include towel, diapers, food scraps and fat, oil and grease

Alberta Health Services provides COVID-19 prevention tips

Alberta Health Services has a number of recommendations for people amid the… Continue reading

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

‘Worse than any flu’: Canadians describe how it feels to have COVID-19

“I woke up with a little scratch in my throat and started trying to cough it up”

Feds rolling out help for charities hit hard by COVID-19 economic slowdown

OTTAWA — The federal government signalled Sunday it is shifting the focus… Continue reading

Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

Thousands have already lost their jobs, while others like grocers look for ways to keep doors open

Athletes, musicians help raise 500,000 euros to fight virus

“It’s a very difficult situation, and for the league to be able to do something like this, it makes players, clubs and fans very proud”

Tokyo Olympics: Signs suggest summer dates for 2021 Olympics

Organizing committee suggested there would be no major change from 2020.

Most Read