One of the two men convicted in a $6 million fraud linked to a prominent Lower Mainland roadbuilding firm has launched an appeal.
Kirk Roberts was a senior employee with Aggressive Roadbuilders in 2007 and 2008, when the millions of dollars, a line of credit loan from ScotiaBank to the company, vanished.
The company had fraudulently claimed it was owed significant sums for already-finished work to qualify for the loan.
In the wake of the fraud being uncovered by auditors, Aggressive, which had built projects for multiple cities from Langley to Surrey to Burnaby, went bankrupt. Charges of fraud were laid in 2014.
Former Aggressive owner Matthew Brooks, the co-accused, pleaded guilty in 2017 and was sentenced to three and a half years in prison.
Roberts pleaded guilty early this year, but a hearing was held as lawyers wrangled over how much responsibility he held for his part in the scheme. Justice Palbinder Shergill found Roberts “was not the mastermind or the directing mind in this fraud.”
Roberts has now appealed his conviction.
READ MORE: Langley roadbuilder jailed for fraud
At his sentencing this March, Roberts avoided prison time, but was handed a two-year conditional sentence, including 18 months of strict house arrest.
At various points during court hearings, both Brooks and Roberts pointed fingers at one another, each claiming the other had unsavoury links.
During Brooks’ sentencing hearing, he blurted out that Roberts knew where the money went.
“Ask where the missing money is, and who his business partners are!” Brooks said.
As Roberts was being sentenced this spring, he was more explicit in his claims about Brooks. Roberts claimed, through his lawyer, to have been the target of threats, including at least one death threat from Brooks. Threatening phone calls, letters, and cars parked outside his home were mentioned.
Roberts also claimed that Brooks is or was an associate of Hells Angels gang members.
At least one confirmed violent incident is linked to Brooks, the Dec. 9, 2011 drive by shooting that targeted the house where Brooks and his family were living in rural Langley.
Despite all the claims, no one aside from Brooks and Roberts has ever been charged in relation to the missing $6 million.
It is unclear exactly what happened to the missing $6 million. Brooks sentencing hearings heard references to failed investments, while at Roberts’ hearings, defence lawyer Ian Donaldson said Brooks “treated the business bank account as his own.”
By the time he was sentenced, Brooks told the court he was living in a trailer and working as a landscaper.
No date has yet been set for the appeal hearing.