Not long ago, a mysterious organization calling itself simply “The Agency” began plastering wanted-style posters around the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, where Calgary businessman Gary Sorenson owns a palatial home and where he was thought to be hiding from Canadian authorities.
The posters invited tipsters to send information about Sorenson’s whereabouts to an email address; unsigned, they promised a $100,000 reward for information leading to his arrest. (In an email to the Calgary Herald, the Agency said it had been contracted to recover lost money, but would not say by whom.) Pictured alongside Sorenson was his wife, Thelma.
Sorenson and his business partner, Milowe Brost, of course, face theft and fraud charges in Canada in connection with a massive Calgary-based Ponzi scheme that the RCMP says may have bilked investors out of as much as $400 million. The pair is alleged to have lured 3,000 people from across North America, including a number of current and former NFL players, by hawking high-return opportunities in schemes like an exotic gold mine and a “green” oil sands project. Some who staked money in the concerns lost as much as $500,000.
RCMP arrested Brost on Sept. 13 in Chestermere, Alta., where he’s now out on bail. He and Sorenson could each face as much as 24 years in prison. Unhappy investors, therefore, had good reason to worry that Sorenson might remain indefinitely in Honduras, which has no extradition treaty with Canada.
As it turned out, though, Sorenson was found on home turf. On Tuesday, police arrested him at the Calgary airport, stepping off a private plane, though authorities would not say where he was travelling from. It now appears likely that the Agency was itself being funded by a group of disgruntled investors, each paying $750 for the investigation. Whether the group in any way helped orchestrate the homecoming remains a matter of conjecture.