Health delaying sentencing

Crown prosecutors are accusing a convicted hockey fraudster of deliberately delaying his sentencing.

Michael Elphicke was found guilty of fraud over $5,000, theft over $5,000 and unlawful management of a lottery scheme in October in relation to the business dealings of the Okanagan Elite Hockey Academy, which defrauded a group of parents from the Okanagan and Western Canada of $130,000.

Elphicke has end-stage kidney failure and saw his health degrade rapidly after the trial to the point that he received the verdict via teleconference from hospital in Calgary.

Since then, defence lawyer James Pennington says he has had three surgeries to amputate parts of his foot.

In January, the defence asked that a pre-sentence report be completed, but the Crown says Elphicke has avoided corrections officer's efforts to conduct the interviews needed for the report.

“This was a report wanted by defence, they’ve dragged their feet,” Crown prosecutor Patrick Fullerton said in Penticton court Friday. “This is Mr. Elphicke’s cynical attempt to delay his sentencing that needs to happen.”

“Elphicke has been convicted of crimes of dishonesty,” Fullerton said, adding Elphicke has not provided doctors notes for missing the interviews.

Pennington told the court Elphicke was meeting that same day with two specialists in preparation for another surgery set for just days before the currently scheduled sentencing date of Feb. 23.

He said his client would produce written proof of his medical adjournments to allow the sentencing to be delayed another six to eight weeks to allow him to heal and the presentence report to be completed.

The judge put the matter over to next week, so the doctor’s note could be produced.

Elphicke's co-accused, Loren Reagan, remains a wanted man after not showing up for the trial. He told Castanet he was in Kuwait working and would return to fight the charges, but has since broken off contact.

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