June 15th, 2016 ~ Vol. 85 No. 24
RCMP charge Bridgegate developers with fraud and theft
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Herald Archive photo
The sign that used to promote the 52 acre River Run project.
Pass Herald Reporter
All that’s left of the scheme to turn the Pass into the next Fernie or Canmore are a few pieces of rusting construction equipment in an empty field along the highway.

On June 10, William Lloyd Bradley, 68, and Colin Joseph Becker, 49, both of Calgary, were charged with committing fraud and theft. It is alleged they unlawfully diverted funds raised by the company in 2006 and 2007 for a development near Crowsnest Lake.

Both men were officers and directors of Bridgecreek Development Corporation at the time the offences occurred. Bradley and Becker have been released from custody and will be making their first court appearance in Calgary on Aug. 11.

In March 2012, the Calgary RCMP entered into an investigation involving allegations of investment fraud at the Bridgecreek Development Corporation.

Over 800 investors lost in excess of $33 Million.

To conduct the investigation, RCMP received assistance from the Forensic Accounting Management Group (FAMG), a division of Public Services and Procurement Canada.

Further support was provided by Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) and the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
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When they arrived in town in 2005, Bridgecreek proposed two developments.

The first was a 27-acre project on Crowsnest Lake called Bridgegate Resort Village. It was to include a conference centre, indoor skating rink and condos.

The second was a 52-acre development on the stretch of land between Highway 3 and the Crowsnest River in Blairmore called River Run. This development was to include a hotel with pool, retail shops and residential housing.

The Crowsnest Lake project and the River Run condo and hotel development never got off the ground. By 2009, Bridgegate was defaulting on interest payments to investors. The company went into receivership and both Bradley and Becker declared bankruptcy.

In 2009, the Pass Herald published that the developers were restructuring their debt in an attempt to move forward.

"River Run is definitely a go," Bradley told the Pass Herald. "We haven't walked away. We're not quitters. The whole mood of the investment market, the whole market in general, has shifted and is much more positive."
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CAO Sheldon Steinke said he’s pleased that Becker and Bradley have been charged.

“That many years later and it’s finally coming out of the weeds,” he said. “I’m amazed that it’s taken this long.”

In 2015 the municipality retook possession 281 lots from the failed River Run development after none were sold at public auction. This year another 17 lots could be repossessed.

“At some point we’ll have to decide what to do with the half-baked construction out there,” said Steinke.
June 15th ~ Vol. 85 No. 24
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