Police in southern Ontario have escalated their review of the case of Pigeon King International to the status of a criminal investigation, Ontario farm media report.
In its online edition last week, Better Farming magazine quoted Staff Sgt. Wally Hogg of the Waterloo Regional Police Service’s fraud squad as saying the squad has turned to gathering evidence to lay a charge — a process that could take a couple of months.
The investigation takes its place alongside civil lawsuits involving PKI’s pigeon breeding scheme, in which farmers from Ontario and several provinces and states were sold pigeon breeding pairs, after which the company would buy back offspring.
Waterloo-based PKI, operated by area businessman Arlan Galbraith, folded about a year ago, leaving nearly 1,000 eager pigeon breeders in Canada and the U.S. with worthless pigeons.
The Waterloo police and RCMP since then have been reviewing the complaints received, and only launched a formal criminal investigation last month, Hogg told Better Farming.
The magazine quoted Hogg as saying the length of time between the business’ collapse and the launch of this investigation relates to the volume of complaints.