(November 24, 2015 BRACEBRIDGE) Accused Ponzi schemer Nicholas Smirnow was reported to be back in Bracebridge court November 24. His last court appearance was in Barrie. The next court date is unknown at this time.
(July 30, 2015 BRACEBRIDGE) Officials in the Bracebridge Court Records office say the case of Nicholas Smirnow has moved south to Barrie. The alleged fraud artist who is accused of defrauding thousands of investors of out of $70million dollars will appear in court again on September 11, 2015 – this time in court in Barrie instead of Bracebridge. No reason was given for the transfer.
Smirnow, with his wife Dianna, was arrested by Huntsville OPP in December after the couple stepped off a plane from the Philippines.
Scroll down to read the story of the Smirnows and their connection to Muskoka before fleeing to allegedly continue a reported investment scam in the U.S.
March 9, 2015: Accused Ponzi schemer Smirnow awaiting April trial date
(March 9 2pm BRACEBRIDGE) Accused fraud artist Nicholas Smirnow of Baysville will appear in Bracebridge court again on April 27 for a pre jury trial.
His wife, Dianna Rose Smirnow, accepted a plea in court on February 6. Bracebridge court officials say she is now on probation and her sentence included time served (she was in jail for 66 days). She must make restitution of $16,421.00 for social service fraud: she was collecting cheques from the Ontario Ministry of Communications and Social Services for more than a year. She left Canada in 2010 before she could be arrested.
While there are unconfirmed reports the U.S. wants to extradite him, 57-year-old Nicholas Smirnow remains in detention in Ontario facing charges of two counts of fraud over $5000.00 and Possession of Property Obtained by Crime under the Criminal Code of Canada. U.S. authorities reportedly had tried to extradite Smirnow from the Philippines before but failed to get him back on U.S. soil to face 10 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering.
Acting on a tip, officers from the Huntsville OPP arrested the Smirnows Friday, December 12, 2014 at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport after the couple got off a flight from the Philippines. They were brought immediately to the OPP detachment in Huntsville.
It’s alleged Smirnow bilked 40,000 investors in 120 countries out of $70-million between 2007 and 2009. His credibility began to unravel when Huntsville OPP officer Andy Muller in 2008 started looking into Smirnow’s actions and Muller circulated a questionnaire to Smirnow’s investors asking them to provide input into the investigation.
In April 2009, members of the Muskoka Crime Unit and the OPP’s Asset Forfeiture United got a warrant to search Smirnow’s home on Fairy Falls Road in Lake of Bays, and while police seized property they said proved Smirnow was running a scam, Smirnow was nowhere to be found. An April 29, 2009, the Bracebridge Examiner reported police were on the hunt for Smirnow and that the search had “resulted in the seizure of property and assets related to the large-scale investment scam. Through his online investment business, Pathway-2-Prosperity, also known as the P2P Network, which he had operated from 2007 to 2008, Smirnow made over $1 million in illegal profit, police said. Known as a high-yield investment program, the scam promised high rates of return over short periods of time.” The million in illegal profit turned out be just the tip of the iceberg as Smirnow continued wooing investors until at least 2009.
Muskoka News Watch broke the news of the Smirnow’s arrest in December.
Related Articles and References:
December 16, Muskoka News Watch, BREAKING: Accused of swindling millions, Nick Smirnow nabbed by Huntsville OPP . Note: Previously articles referred to Nicholas Smirnow as being 56 years old. He is 57, born May 23, 1957.
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