Ponzi scheme charges stayed against B.C. woman after drowning death of co-accused

The charges against Kathleen Treadgold and Curtis Quigley have been stayed in the wake of Quigley's death.  (Glow Juicery Kelowna/Instagram - image credit)
The charges against Kathleen Treadgold and Curtis Quigley have been stayed in the wake of Quigley's death. (Glow Juicery Kelowna/Instagram - image credit)

Alberta prosecutors won't proceed with fraud charges against a B.C. pair accused of running a Ponzi scheme after the man charged in the case drowned.

Curtis Quigley and Kathleen Treadgold, formerly common-law spouses, were jointly charged last year with 80 counts of fraud over $5,000.

The Edmonton Police Service alleged they orchestrated a $7.8-million Ponzi scheme that tricked hundreds of investors out of large sums of money over more than a decade.

They were due to go to trial in 2025, but the Crown is now staying the charges against both of them following Quigley's death near Okanagan Falls, B.C., on June 20. He was 56.

Emergency responders who were at the scene said two witnesses reported Quigley went into the Okanagan River to chase two dogs he was walking, and all three got caught in the current by a concrete drop structure, similar to a dam.

Okanagan Falls Volunteer Fire Department chief Fred Dobransky told CBC News the dogs also died, and their bodies were recovered in the days following Quigley's death.

On Friday, a spokesperson for the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service told CBC News that after receiving confirmation of Quigley's death, the charges against him have been stayed.

"The charges against Ms. Treadgold have also been stayed as the prosecution standard is no longer met," the spokesperson said in a statement.

Brandon Tralenberg, defence lawyer for the 56-year-old Treadgold, told CBC News that she is another of Quigley's victims.

Quigley involved Treadgold in what she believed was a legitimate investment scheme that she also put her own money into, Tralenberg said.

"Ms. Treadgold wants to emphatically state that she had no knowledge that Mr. Quigley was involved in a fraudulent investment scheme. Mr. Quigley was a sophisticated and charismatic fraudster, who duped innocent people and Ms. Treadgold," Tralenberg said in a statement.

Quigley and Treadgold lived in Kelowna.

The charges they faced were laid in Edmonton after Edmonton police spent three years investigating the alleged scheme.

Investors were led to believe their money would go toward buying homes in Edmonton and profiting from real-estate flips, police said.

Tralenberg said further information is coming to light suggesting that Quigley had "other female victims" in different frauds.

"Ms. Treadgold is deeply remorseful for any part she played in what she thought was Mr. Quigley's legitimate investments. He was as sophisticated at defrauding her as he was at defrauding others," Tralenberg said.

"This is reflected in the Crown's decision to stay Ms. Treadgold's charges, as proceeding against her was possible whether Mr. Quigley was alive or not."