The co-accused in a major hockey fraud trial involving a failed youth hockey trip to Europe is in custody in Alberta, according to B.C. Crown prosecutors.
Loren Reagan was one of two people charged with fraud and theft over $5,000 and unauthorized operation of a lottery scheme for the now-defunct Okanagan Elite Hockey Association’s business practices in 2011-12.
At the trial’s onset, lawyer Kim Ross told the court he had received notice from Reagan that he was out of the country — at the time, co-accused Michael Elphicke told reporters Reagan was in Kuwait, working for an oil company.
Ross dropped Reagan as a client as a result of the no-show.
Elphicke was found guilty on Oct. 26 last year, after a September trial in which the co-accused painted the scheme as a one-man-scam by Reagan, also, at one point, saying the duo could do with the money what they pleased as long as the hockey trip went forward.
The duo raised about $184,000 from hockey parents and through an unauthorized raffle scheme, in the late months of 2011, with the intention of using the money to take young hockey players and some parents to Europe for a hockey-related trip.
But by mid-January 2012, just $13,000 remained in the OEHA accounts, according to forensic accountant Darcy Wong, who testified in Elphicke’s trial that Elphicke and his wife ultimately gained from about $19,000 of the funds.
According to Wong, Reagan benefited from about $38,000 of the OEHA money, while a failed hockey dorm project received about $38,000.
Reagan had all but struck a $925,000 deal with the City of Penticton to buy properties on Eckhardt Avenue to create a hockey dorm, beginning construction on the project until the city issued a stop work order.
The contractors on the project went unpaid, and Reagan, the OEHA, the city and Elphicke were all named in combined $1.6-million lawsuits, though claims against Elphicke were later dropped by two contractors.
But Justice Bruce Greyell questioned in his verdict whether Elphicke was entirely disconnected from the hockey project.
The two were also the subjects of a lawsuit brought on by parents with the OEHA.
After Reagan failed to appear in the trial, a Canada-wide warrant was issued for his arrest.
According to a B.C. Prosecution Service spokesperson, Reagan appeared in Alberta’s provincial court Monday, and was remanded into custody for six days to facilitate his return to B.C.
He is expected to make an appearance in court when he arrives in B.C., but no date has been set.
Elphicke has yet to be sentenced on the matter, with kidney failure and diabetes-related health complications slowing down proceedings.