A former financial manager from Nova Scotia may be facing up to five years in prison for failing to pay a court-ordered fine of over $1 million. Quintin Sponagle, 59, pleaded guilty in 2017 to fraud in an investment scam that impacted more than 200 victims, with many losing money through his investment firm.
As authorities try to determine whether Sponagle is refusing to pay the fine or simply lacks the ability to do so, he has expressed his intention to “prove poverty” in the case. Despite his financial hardships, he maintains a desire to eventually reimburse his clients who suffered losses.
Sponagle’s fraudulent activities involved an investment company he controlled, which was incorporated in Panama and had an office in Nova Scotia. Over $4.4 million was invested by 201 victims, but an investigation revealed that $1.1 million was not used for actual investments. Instead, Sponagle spent the money on personal expenses, international travel, vehicles, RVs, and property.
The prosecution argues that Sponagle should be imprisoned only if they can demonstrate that he purposely refuses to pay the fine despite having the capacity to do so. The defense plans for Sponagle to testify in his own defense during the ongoing hearing.
During the proceedings, Sponagle’s wife testified that their financial situation has been dire, with both of them earning limited income in recent years. She explained that her husband does renovation work for someone in Hantsport and handles some of the bills, but she is unaware of his exact income or payment arrangement.
Despite the accusations of fraud, Sponagle’s wife defended him in court, claiming that he has been the victim of “fake news” and emphasizing that his motive was never to take people’s money.
As the hearing continues, authorities are working to determine both Sponagle’s ability to pay the fine and his true intentions regarding restitution to his clients.