Sylvan Lake man says he needs $125,000 to fight fraud charges

It is alleged investors were bilked out of $2.6 million

A Sylvan Lake man accused of a multimillion-dollar oilpatch fraud complained in court on Monday that the allegations against him should have been settled nearly a decade ago.

Dane Michael Skinner is set to go to trial in 2021 on charges of fraud, uttering threats and laundering the proceeds of crime.

Skinner was in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench to update Justice Susan Bercov on his efforts to get a new lawyer.

He told the judge he had a new lawyer, but that she would not formally sign on until he had paid a retainer.

“We’re talking $125,000,” he said, adding he expects to have the money next month.

Skinner complained that his legal battles have cost him a huge amount of money and should have been resolved years ago.

“I’ve spent over $800,000 fighting the same charges I fought nine years ago,” he said. “This should have been done eight years ago. I shouldn’t be standing in front of this court right now.”

Seven weeks have been set aside for his trial, which is slated to begin in March 2021 in Red Deer.

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 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 in July 2018.

The trial is expected to be complex. Five days were set aside in February 2020 for pre-trial motions around search-and-seizure issues.

Skinner said that he expects 200 witnesses to be called in his defence. Witnesses from the U.S. and as far as Africa are expected to testify that the technology he was promoting is being used in the industry.



News tips

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Alberta eyes more operating rooms, contracts with private clinics for surgeries

CALGARY — Alberta’s health minister says he aims to make the province… Continue reading

One year after arrests, Canadians held in China set to face trial

OTTAWA — As two imprisoned Canadians face trials in Chinese courts where… Continue reading

‘The grief is heavy:’ Alberta First Nation grieving death of five in house fire

ROCHFORT BRIDGE, Alta. — The chief of the Alexis Nakoda Sioux Nation… Continue reading

Calgary teacher cuts can be averted, but provincial audit, review going ahead

CALGARY — The Alberta government is moving ahead with a financial audit… Continue reading

Man who strangled wife, buried body in their Calgary home to stay in prison

BOWDEN, Alta. — A man who strangled his wife and cemented her… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Friday The Annual Old-Fashioned Country Christmas is being held Dec. 13 at… Continue reading

Flames’ win streak at 6 games with 5-2 win over Coyotes

Flames 5 Coyotes 2 GLENDALE, Ariz. — Sean Monahan scored for the… Continue reading

Alberta eyes more operating rooms, contracts with private clinics for surgeries

CALGARY — Alberta’s health minister says he aims to make the province… Continue reading

Sebastian Aho scores twice, Hurricanes beat Oilers 6-3

Hurricanes 6 Oilers 3 EDMONTON — Sebastian Aho had a pair of… Continue reading

One year after arrests, Canadians held in China set to face trial

OTTAWA — As two imprisoned Canadians face trials in Chinese courts where… Continue reading

‘The grief is heavy:’ Alberta First Nation grieving death of five in house fire

ROCHFORT BRIDGE, Alta. — The chief of the Alexis Nakoda Sioux Nation… Continue reading

Calgary teacher cuts can be averted, but provincial audit, review going ahead

CALGARY — The Alberta government is moving ahead with a financial audit… Continue reading

Man who strangled wife, buried body in their Calgary home to stay in prison

BOWDEN, Alta. — A man who strangled his wife and cemented her… Continue reading

Most Read