Motor Association Allegedly Defrauded of Millions by IT Executive Who Bought Office Building, Porsches

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
motor association allegedly defrauded of millions by it executive who bought office

How do you buy an Arizona vacation home, a boat, two Porsches and an office building on a $210,000-a-year salary?

According to the CBC, the vice-president of information technology for the Alberta Motor Association managed to find a way, and it sure wasn’t legal. Jim Gladden is accused of draining $8.2 million from the AMA through fake invoices, then spending the money like a high-flying tycoon.

During his eight years at the AMA (18 months as VP of IT), Gladden bought a 2013 Porsche and a Maserati, another 2016 Porsche, a vacation home in Scottsdale, Arizona valued at $520,000, a private home in Edmonton, Alberta valued at $1.6 million, a $50,000 boat, and a $5 million Edmonton office building (as an investment property).

“There is no way that he could be living this lifestyle without conducting what was a brazen and substantial fraud,” Calgary lawyer Munaf Mohamed told an Alberta court last week, according to the CBC.

According to court documents, Gladden was able to pull off the scheme because the AMA trusted him enough to give him sole authority to approve payment of invoices.

Mohamed, who represents the AMA, claims Gladden acquired the money through phony invoices for services bought, but never delivered. The money was then transferred to bank accounts in the U.S. As part of his massive fraud scheme, Gladden reportedly gained access to the email accounts of AMA executives.

The report states that the AMA uncovered the fraud in July, and after evasive actions on the part of the accused, Gladden was fired. With his accounts now frozen, the AMA wants to recoup at least $8.2 million stolen over the last three years. The organization filed a lawsuit against Gladden and his companies.

In a statement issued this morning, the AMA confirmed that an executive was terminated following an internal investigation:

This individual’s alleged irregular financial activity was revealed during a review of financial controls that have been put in place to protect the AMA, our members and customers. The alleged fraudulent activity resulted exclusively from a breach of these internal controls, and in no way compromises the confidentiality of member or customer information. Our organization carries external insurance coverage that will allow us to fully recover the losses.

The AMA says additional controls were put in place “to prevent any future incidents of this type.”

In his LinkedIn profile, Gladden describes himself as a “Results driven Senior IT/Business leader with an outstanding record of delivering complex projects on time and within budget.”

[Image: Porsche Cars North America]

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  • Tekdemon Tekdemon on Aug 09, 2016

    Honestly, except for the $5 million office building most of those things are perfectly affordable for someone with a salary of $210,000 a year if they save up their money and have a spouse that also works. They'd easily be able to pay the mortgage on that Arizona vacation home and save up for two Porsches and there are small boats that they could probably afford. Especially if you invest the money you make correctly. My base salary is only a bit higher than this guy's (though I do have a bonus that makes my total compensation usefully higher) and if I wanted to I could easily go buy all those things save for the $5 million office building. I've been saving up to buy a decent house so I'm not going to go blow my money on new Porsches but it's not inconceivable that someone who makes that amount of money could if they wanted to. If I wanted to waste 20% of my income on car payments I could drive all sorts of insane vehicles but I'd rather invest my money for now and be able to buy even crazier crap later lol.

  • Lightspeed Lightspeed on Aug 09, 2016

    It’s Alberta, or “Oilberta” until the oil price crash, there was so much money floating around this place, nobody would be surprised at someone making $200K per year investing in properties, including a commercial building.

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