November 29, 2023

Business International

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Calgary business owner charged in connection to defrauding elderly woman – Calgary

A Calgary business owner specializing in helping seniors and vulnerable people has been charged with defrauding an elderly victim of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In a Wednesday afternoon release, the Calgary Police Service said the victim requested the suspect to become her power of attorney in December 2016 because they were friends.

Police believed the suspect mismanaged more than $350,000 belonging to the victim after the suspect took control of the victim’s finances between December 2016 and August 2020.

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The victim reported the missing money to the police in October 2021 and the CPS elder abuse response team began a 14-month investigation.

Police said they have charged Valerie Dorothy Mackenzie, 62, with one count of theft over $5,000, one count of fraud over $5,000 and one count of laundering proceeds of crime.

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Mackenzie is the owner of Making Space Professionals, a local business that aims to help seniors and vulnerable people downsize and declutter their homes.

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She is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, Jan. 31.

“This was an incredibly unfortunate situation for the victim, who was taken advantage of for several years by someone who was believed to be trustworthy,” said Det. Hal Quaidoo.

“We are asking anyone who may have been victimized in a similar manner to contact police.”

Anyone with information about this or similar incidents is asked to call police at 403-266-1234 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers.

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