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A former salesman says Arlan Galbraith, architect of a now-defunct Waterloo based pigeon breeding scheme, had a solid vision.Last week, Arlan Galbraith, the owner of the Waterloo-based PKI, notified his contract growers, suppliers and holding barn operators that he had handed his business over to a bankruptcy trustee.By Wednesday the company's offices in Waterloo and Moorefield were closed. Wagler claims to know where Galbraith is located , "most know" - and how to reach him but he's waiting for Galbraith to take the first step."I have some hurts there."Better Farming's calls to Galbraith's residence in Cochrane, where he was spotted last week, have not been returned.If Galbraith doesn't file for bankruptcy then the only option former contract holders would have would be to "force it," he says.In his e-mail announcing the failure of his business, Galbraith repeatedly blamed "fear mongers."In a June 4 interview with Better Farming, Galbraith questioned whether the magazine had been involved in "fear mongering."During the same interview, Galbraith was asked whether risk to his investors had changed following the action taken by four U.S. states."It doesn't affect it at all," he said.Galbraith published his final newsletter, June 9, a week before pulling the plug on his business.
Arlan Galbraith, owner of Pigeon King International in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont., declared bankruptcy in 2008.
He owed $23 million to unsecured creditors. ? Most of the eligible creditors are farmers who agreed to raise pigeons for Galbraith. He promised to buy offspring back from producers and sell the high-end racing pigeons to buyers overseas or for the emerging market for pigeon meat.? ADVERTISMENT In 2013, an Ontario court concluded there was no viable market for pigeons. Galbraith's business was essentially a Ponzi scheme, buying pigeons from his existing contractors and selling them to new producers. He was sentenced to seven years in prison for fraud.? Creditors will share only $130,000 because Galbraith and the pigeon business had few assets. He ran the pigeon breeding operation using a GMC van, a Dodge half-ton and a few pieces of office furniture.? The Pigeon King saga grabbed the attention of journalists from around the world, who were amazed someone could convince farmers to raise pigeons and fabricate a market for the birds.? This past March, seven years after Galbraith went bankrupt, the New York Times magazine published a lengthy piece with the headline: Birdman, the Pigeon King and the Ponzi Scheme that Shook Canada.? The Times said Galbraith had contracted more than 1,000 farmers in five provinces and 20 U.S. states to raise pigeons. He took $42 million from producers and promised to buy back $356 million worth of pigeon offspring.?
Pigeon King International Inc. - Pigeon King International - Arlan Galbraith Pigeon King International Inc. - Arlan GalbraithPigeon King International Inc. - Arlan Galbraith Financial - The Pigeon Flyer - Pigeon King Internationaldeveloped by Arlan Galbraith, our founder and president.Pigeon King International Inc. - Arlan GalbraithArlan Galbraith Arlan Galbraith, Founder and President of Pigeon KingAll rights reserved. © Copyright Arlan Galbraith 2006
Arlan Galbraith, owner of bankrupt Pigeon King International, leaves a creditor's meeting in Kitchener in 2008.
next play/pause pre Waterloo Region Record ByBrian Caldwell KITCHENER - More than five years after his pigeon-breeding empire came crashing down, Arlan Galbraith is finally scheduled to go on trial Monday for an alleged $20-million fraud. A salesperson known for his folksy charm, Galbraith promoted Pigeon King International as the saviour of the family farm by promising healthy returns for raising young birds. But with concerns already swirling that the Waterloo-based business was more akin to a Ponzi scheme, it went bankrupt in the summer of 2008. Left in the lurch were hundreds of farmers across North America - largely from Amish and Mennonite communities - who had invested in breeding pairs with guaranteed prices for their offspring. Galbraith blamed jealous "fear mongers" for smearing him, questioning his motives and drying up new investment needed to expand into squab production. Waterloo Regional Police initially said it appeared the costly collapse was nothing more than "an investment that's gone bad." But after a flood of complaints from farmers and a 2 1/2-year investigation, Galbraith was charged in late 2010 with fraud and violations of the Bankruptcy Act. He has steadfastly maintained his innocence ever since, representing himself in the complicated case during a preliminary hearing in Kitchener last year. "I'm no criminal," he said in an interview outside court. "The worst thing I ever had in my life was a speeding ticket. I'm a model citizen, for God's sake." Nevertheless, Galbraith was ordered to stand trial by the hearing judge. Founder and sole owner of Pigeon King, Galbraith recruited farmers to buy pairs of breeding birds for up to $500. In return, he agreed to buy back the offspring at fixed prices for the duration of contracts that generally ran for five to 10 years. Galbraith claimed to be building up breeding stock as he developed plans to establish processing plants to turn out pigeon meat, or squab, for restaurants and dinner tables. The essence of the fraud allegations is that he had no real market for so many birds and ran a doomed scheme that relied on more and more investors to pay existing ones. Still not represented by a lawyer, Galbraith chose to fight the case before a jury of peers in Superior Court in Kitchener. •2001 - Arlan Galbraith starts his pigeon-breeding business, marketing it for the first several years as a supplier of birds for hobbyists interested in them for sport. •2005 - Local police interview Galbraith after concerns are raised about Pigeon King International, but find it to be a sincere venture and take no action. •2008 - As several U.S. states raise concerns about a possible Ponzi scheme, Galbraith insists the potential is still enormous: "We're scratching the surface of a giant iceberg." •December 2010 - After turning himself in to police, Galbraith is charged with defrauding hundreds of investors between 2004 and 2008. Total losses are estimated at $20 million. •November 2012 - Galbraith ordered to stand trial after a preliminary hearing. "Everybody would have been paid," he insists in an interview proclaiming his innocence. •November 4, 2013 - Six- to eight-week jury trial scheduled to begin as Galbraith represents himself in Superior Court in Kitchener.
A former salesman says Arlan Galbraith, architect of a now-defunct Waterloo based pigeon breeding scheme, had a solid vision.
He says he believes the plan the company's owner, Arlan Galbraith, followed "was valid; and it wasn't a scheme." Last week, Arlan Galbraith, the owner of the Waterloo-based PKI, notified his contract growers, suppliers and holding barn operators that he had handed his business over to a bankruptcy trustee. By Wednesday the company's offices in Wagler claims to know where Galbraith is located - "most know" - and how to reach him but he's waiting for Galbraith to take the first step. If Galbraith doesn't file for bankruptcy then the only option former contract holders would have would be to "force it," he says. In his e-mail announcing the failure of his business, Galbraith repeatedly blamed "fear mongers. In a June 4 interview with Better Farming, Galbraith questioned whether the magazine had been involved in "fear mongering." During the same interview, Galbraith was asked whether risk to his investors had changedfollowing the action taken by four U.S. states. "It doesn't affect it at all," he said. Galbraith published his final newsletter, June 9, a week before pulling the plug on his business.