Man charged in Canadian fraud case will leave U.S.

Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:29pm EST
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By Teresa Carson

PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) - An investment advisor accused of orchestrating a multimillion dollar fraud in Canada will not fight extradition from the United States, a U.S. court was told on Wednesday.

Ian Thow made an initial appearance in a U.S. District Court in Portland, Oregon, where he was arrested on Tuesday on an extradition request from Canada, which he fled in 2005 as allegations of wrong-doing became public.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police say Thow, 47, a U.S. citizen who lived in Victoria, British Columbia, stole C$10 million ($7.9 million), but Canadian media reports have said the total was higher than that.

Thow was ordered to remain in jail as the court worked out whether he will be extradited from Oregon or Washington state. He had lived mostly in the Seattle area after leaving Canada, according to investigators.

"This is a man who is going to take care of his responsibilities," Thow's attorney Patrick Ehlers told the court in an unsuccessful bid to have him released on bail.

Thow's two children were in court for the hearing.

The British Columbia Securities Commission found Thow, a former mutual fund salesman, guilty in 2007 of what it called one of the "most callous and audacious frauds" ever in the Canadian province.

He was charged criminally by Canadian authorities in June 2008 with 25 counts of fraud over C$5,000.   Continued...