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Penticton  

Elphicke on the hot seat

Crown prosecutor Patrick Fullerton tore into accused Penticton hockey fraudster Mike Elphicke during cross examination Tuesday.

Elphicke is facing charges of fraud and theft over $5,000 and unauthorized management of a lottery scheme in connection to the business dealings of the defunct Okanagan Elite Hockey Association.

The company is alleged to have collected about $128,000 from a group of parents for an overseas hockey trip that never took place as promised in 2012. The court previously heard that part of that money was spent on the failed hockey dorm project at the SOEC.

Elphicke testified Monday that his business partner Lorean Reagan was raiding the parent’s trip funds for personal and hockey dorm expenses, but still gave him another $20,000 to secure financing for the dorm in the hopes of using the mortgage to pay back the parents.

“You had a partner, that had uncontrolled spending habits, correct?” Fullerton asked Elphicke during cross-examination Tuesday. “You then give him, or give to his benefit, $20,000?”

“Correct,” Elphicke replied. “Needed it to get the mortage.”

“Right. To get the mortgage on a thing that you had no involvement in” Fullerton said. “You had no understanding of the risk involved in that dorm project, did you?”

“No,” Elphicke replied, with a wince.

“You are not investing in stock options with that $20,000, you wired $20,000 out of the Okanagan Elite Hockey account to the detriment of the European Hockey Tour,” Fullerton pressed.

The Crown went through bank statements with Elphicke that showed that he continued to take a salary from the OEHA accounts — which were primarily funded by parent’s trip money — more than two months after he testified to the company being “neck deep in it.”

“I totalled it up, I’m still owed money,” Elphicke said.

The OEHA was a joint venture between Elphicke, his wife Tana, and Reagan.

A warrant is out for the arrest of Reagan, who did not show up for the start of the trial. He told Castanet he is in Kuwait dealing with passport issues.

The Elphicke trial is expected to wrap up this week.



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