A Sherwood Park man has been sentenced after being involved in several sports investment scams between 2016 and 2019.
53-year-old Nickolas Ellis will serve seven years in prison for the crimes and has been ordered to pay $1.65 million in restitution.
The most prolific of these scams was dubbed 'The Dynasty Project', a supposed subscription service that would provide subscribers with exclusive access to athletes before and after games.
Ellis allegedly impersonated NHL great Mike Bossy as a way to add legitimacy to the project. He also fabricated messages from fictional lawyers to help fool investors.
Investors were led to believe they would make a considerable profit, with claims that the service would be sold to Microsoft as well as licensed sports leagues.
A judge determined that none of this was true.
In total, three investors collectively lost $1.2 million in this 'Dynasty Project' scheme.
One victim lost more than $750,000 as part of these scams.
Other scams allegedly purported by Ellis included a memorabilia scam to have framed and signed Reebok NHL jerseys sold at significant prices. This scam defrauded six investors out of $319,000.
There was also something called 'The Gretzky Project' in which a fictional licensing arrangement with Upper Deck for exclusive Wayne Gretzky merchandise was used as bait for investors.
A total of $38,000 was taken from one of the Dynasty investors for this scam.
It is believed that Ellis and his legal team will be considering an appeal and have called the sentence overly harsh.
Ellis was found to be in possession of about $21,000 at the time of his arrest, all of which will be paid out to victims.
On top of the prison sentence and restitution payments, Ellis will also have to disclose his conviction to any future employers.