By on August 8, 2016


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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31 Comments on “Motor Association Allegedly Defrauded of Millions by IT Executive Who Bought Office Building, Porsches...”

  • avatar

    Thought I was reading about another D.trump story.

  • avatar

    The AMA has only itself to blame, for allowing this guy to approve and pay his own invoices. Poor accounting practices.

  • avatar

    For the benefit of us non-Canadians. Is the AMA the Canadian equivalent to a state chartered AAA here in the US? I thought there was a CAA there.

    • 0 avatar

      yankinwaoz – Alberta Motorist Association = AMA. CAA (Canadian Automobile Association) would be the Canadian version of AAA but each province has their own branch (or I think they do).

    • 0 avatar

      Correct. CAA is the umbrella national association, but each province has their own association that does the interaction with their members.

      If your car won’t start in Edmonton it is an AMA tow truck that will show up when you call. If you’re in Vancouver it’s a BCAA truck, etc.

  • avatar

    o_O I have that complex projects on time and within budget crap on my resume too.

  • avatar

    “because the AMA trusted him enough to give him sole authority to approve payment of invoices.”

    Smart, smart. Because nobody who’s been vested with sole authority of check writing/approval has ever taken advantage.

  • avatar

    White collar crime eh?….Well this being Canada, this dude will get off, with a good stiff “talking to”…Maybe a fine? He may even need to forfeit the Porsche. Not the vacation home, or the other cars. We certainly wouldn’t want to inflict , any cruel, and unusual punishment.

    I’m fairly confident, that in the USA that a crime, and it IS a crime, of this magnitude , would buy some time in a federal lock up.

    • 0 avatar

      Mikey, I’d say its a maybe on the US Justice system dispensing justice in such a case. Many on Wall Street have done far worse and Justice was blind(ed).

  • avatar

    By the way, this same lack of checks and balances is how a single employee took down Barings Bank – the oldest financial institution in Great Britain. Fascinating reading.

    RIP 1762-1995

  • avatar

    He probably got everybody TDIs as company cars too.

  • avatar

    At least he had fun for a while.

    Probably should have just taken the money in a lump sum and steal off to Switzerland aka “Kelly’s Heroes”!

  • avatar

    According to JD Power he was *thrilled* with his Porsches too! Would fraud again.

  • avatar

    It only takes one bad guy to wreck 100 years of integrity. AMA was always stand-up during my many years working in the western Canada zone. As were almost every corporate suit I encountered. A more dignified and honest populace I cannot imagine. Contrast the mentality of Calgary to that of Houston. Both oil dependent, boom and bust mentality, but I would posit the Canadian version lacks the venal edge most Texans I know seem to have. Ask Kinky – he’ll admit to it, I know. Cue the Texas Jewboys.

  • avatar

    Somebody help me understand how there is such an enormously large sum of money available to be looted from the AMA? And no checks-and-balances nor accountability? It boggles the mind! The guy rightly determined that nobody would miss it and he was right for some period of time. But most criminals do get caught.

    Perhaps a better questions is what is that large sum of money SUPPOSED to be used for? Payoffs to politicians, one might suppose. But what else?

    And, as for the perp: BUSTED!!! Nobody will miss you as you rot in prison, scumbag!

  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

    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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