Old Midway Lodge

The old Midway Lodge, which was purchased by Brian and Candy Corty, is central in an investigation into an investment fraud scheme cooked up by the local couple.

Delta Junction residents Brian Keith Corty, 52, and Candy Corty, 47, have been charged with conspiracy and wire fraud. A federal grand jury returned an indictment against the Cortys accusing them of defrauding nearly two dozen investors of over $700,000 over several years.

Court documents indicate that between 2017 and 2020, the defendants used deceptive tactics to solicit investments for Ice Fog Holdings, LLC, a company supposedly focused on the growth, extraction, development, manufacturing, and sale of medical and recreational marijuana products in Alaska and other markets. To entice investors, the Cortys purchased the Midway Lodge located halfway between Delta Junction and Fairbanks and promised to transform it into a unique "Bud and Breakfast" with a marijuana-themed park. They claimed the lodge would feature glass ceilings, allowing guests to enjoy views of the northern lights while lying in bed. Additionally, the defendants represented that they would cultivate and sell marijuana from the location.

The Cortys and their accomplices made several false statements to Ice Fog investors. These included misleading claims that Ice Fog was already generating income through security service contracts and projections of substantial annual sales, such as over $3.85 million in the first year, over $13.05 million in the second year, and over $23.24 million in the third year. They also promised investors a return 30 times their initial investment. The defendants falsely indicated that inspections by the Alaska Marijuana Control Office had taken place at the Midway Lodge, giving the impression that their application for a marijuana grow and dispensary license was nearing approval, according to the indictment. However, the defendants were aware that Ice Fog had no real income and minimal prospects of obtaining a license from the Alaska Marijuana Control Office.

During the operation of their scheme, the Cortys managed to persuade at least 22 individuals to invest in Ice Fog, resulting in approximately $722,000 being raised through the sale of fraudulent “shares” in Ice Fog Holdings. The majority of these funds were misappropriated by the defendants for personal use.

U.S. Attorney S. Lane Tucker of the District of Alaska announced the indictment, emphasizing that it represents allegations, and that all defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, in collaboration with investigators from the Alaska Department of Law, is leading the investigation.

Michael Paschall is the publisher of the Delta Wind and covers general news topics. He can be reached at news@deltawindonline.com.