Judge gavel, scales of justice and law books in court

A convicted fraudster who fled Canada in 2016 has been repatriated and remanded to prison.

On Tuesday, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) announced that William Wallace, who was convicted of fraud, unregistered trading and an illegal distribution under the Ontario Securities Act, has been returned to Canada following his arrest on arrival in the United Arab Emirates in February 2019.

Wallace and his partner Robert Heward were convicted on Dec. 15, 2016, for their roles in a fraudulent Tanzanian gold mining investment scheme that took approximately $6.8 million from investors, according to a release from the OSC. They used the majority of the proceeds to fund their lavish lifestyles, the OSC said.

In August 2016, Wallace and Heward fled Canada prior to the conclusion of their trial. Both were convicted in absentia and sentenced to a four-year prison term. Heward returned to Canada in February 2017 and was remanded to prison, where he died.

Wallace was arrested in the United Arab Emirates after OSC staff obtained an Interpol Red Notice alerting global police agencies that Wallace was wanted in Canada.

“We make every effort to hold people like Mr. Wallace accountable for victimizing Ontario investors,” Jeff Kehoe, the OSC’s director of enforcement, said in a statement. “This includes drawing on our network of law enforcement agencies to track down offenders and return them to Canada to face justice.”

Wallace and Heward were investigated and prosecuted by members of the Joint Serious Offences Team, an enforcement partnership between the OSC, the RCMP Financial Crime program and the Ontario Provincial Police Anti-Rackets Branch.