“You took my money,” Kenneth Moll has told the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. “It’s your word against mine.”
This is not one of the tales heard in a California courtroom where Canadian resident Brian Nichols is on trial for murdering three of his siblings after he received a cryptic tip from a psychics that a visit to the relative’s house was a “suicide mission.”
This is the story of a man who owned up to nearly $80 million in Canadian wealth and blew it all on lavish vacations in Las Vegas and Palm Springs, expensive racehorses and a fortune-teller. During his trial, his brother, Gordon Moll, recalled how Ken, the apparent family fortune hunter, had disappeared years ago, leaving behind his wife and children. When Gordon returned to Canada from the United States to discover the abandoned mansion, he found a For Sale sign on the property. He was, predictably, devastated. His brother had been using his trust funds to fund what seemed to be an extravagant lifestyle, which included building a $6 million house and using money from Ken’s estate to buy a zoo, and he took it all from people like his in the small town of Lagrange. Ken, Gordon said, had stolen a share of his money to make “sweet, sweet ladies” like Joan Taylor.
Ken Moll was charged in November 2015 after a 15-month investigation by the RCMP, and he pleaded guilty last December to fraud for duping investors out of $66 million. But the vast majority of his estimated $80 million has not been recovered. In court, he has explained how he took the money and invested it in exotic cars, real estate and a pig farm. He even bought a fake private jet, with the permission of several friends, and sold it.
Ken also used the funds to give psychic advice to potential investors, which led to not just one hoax, but three and damaged the reputation of several psychic communities in the country. And those who invested their money, many of whom are faced with double trouble now in establishing a lifestyle in Canada because of their personal, if not financial, losses, have now resorted to using their savings to regain some kind of financial stability.
In June 2015, a jury in a Toronto courtroom ordered the man to repay $43 million, but even that figure seems to be a conservative estimate. “Everybody is saying that this money is out there,” Ken Moll’s lawyer Mark Benton told The National Post. “I’m not going to say that I believe it. But I don’t want people to tell me that there is no money.” When asked by reporters outside court if he had filed for bankruptcy, Moll told reporters “No, but don’t hold me to it.” He also thanked everyone involved for their assistance in his case and promised to continue the battle.
For now, Moll remains free. The Canadian government could ask him to serve his sentence in the United States for attempted murder, a legal method that is becoming more and more common in the wake of mass shootings, but it would first have to successfully try him in Canada. He could also be extradited to the United States.