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Hockey theft investigation

The Penticton RCMP said this week that they are taking a closer look at an alleged theft of thousands of dollars from the Penticton Minor Hockey Association.

Cpl. Martin Trudeau, who is heading up the investigation, said they recently received a copy of a forensic audit, completed by a professional auditor, requested by the association.

"Initially the investigation pointed to this one woman, who is now deceased, for fraud over $300,000 over a period of years, and originally we weren't going to do anything because it pointed to the one person who is deceased and criminally there was only one person who we could charge," he said.  "But following that we got this audit and are now looking at it further. We owe them the courtesy of looking into it, not just ignoring it."

There were also Crime Stoppers tips on the matter, Trudeau added.

According to a news release written by the association in early May, they fell victim to a sophisticated embezzlement scheme carried out by former treasurer Sandy Elder.

Elder served as the treasurer from 2001 until she died of cancer in July of 2013.

After Elder died, PMHA president Bruce Judd discovered signs of what appeared to be fraudulent activity.

Although initially skeptical of the evidence, Judd obtained the board's approval to retain Erik Lund of law firm Boyle & Company to investigate the matter.

The cornerstone of that inquiry was a full forensic investigation by chartered accountant and certified fraud examiner Cheryl Shearer of the firm Blair Mackay Mynett.

After the completion of her investigation, Shearer issued a report dated April 24, 2014 which prompted the police to look further into the matter.

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