Penticton’s B.C. Supreme Court chamber is poised to hear yet another weeks-long trial on the matter of a failed youth hockey trip to Europe.
This time, Loren Reagan will be in the accused box facing fraud, theft and unauthorized operation of a lottery scheme charges, in a trial expected to last up to three weeks, hearing from 16 to 18 witnesses.
But before the trial, Reagan will get another chance at bail, with lawyer Michael Patterson saying he will be submitting a notice of application to the Crown for a bail review after he was denied bail in mid-March.
Reagan had been scheduled to stand trial alongside Michael Elphicke last fall, but did not show up. His lawyer at the time, Kim Ross from Calgary, said Reagan was out of the country, and he was believed at the time to be in Kuwait. A warrant was then issued for his arrest.
Reagan came back into custody in early March after being arrested by police in Calgary and was transported to Penticton to attend his legal matters.
The witnesses would largely be comprised of hockey parents whose money, along with money they raised for the Europe trip through raffles, went into Okanagan Elite Hockey Association bank accounts.
After raising upwards of $180,000, the bulk of which came directly from hockey parents in the fall and early winter in 2011, the OEHA bank accounts only had about $13,000 left by mid-January 2012. That is what the B.C. Supreme Court heard the co-accused’s trial on the same matter in September last year.
In the accused box that time was Elphicke, who was found guilty on counts of fraud and theft over $5,000 and unauthorized operation of a lottery scheme — the same charges Reagan now faces.
In Elphicke’s trial, which lasted 11 days, well over a dozen witnesses were heard, including hockey parents, a forensic accountant, police officers and Elphicke himself.
But Elphicke’s trial, which was also pegged at three full weeks, was cut down by four days through admissions ahead of the trial.
Reagan’s lawyer, Patterson, said he is willing to look at admissions on this trial to cut down on time, and added that he does not see the need for 16 to 18 witnesses.
The ball is now in Crown lawyer Patrick Fullerton’s court to determine what he is seeking admissions on prior to the trial to send to Patterson to review, which Fullerton said he could do by the end of Wednesday.
Lawyers are set to meet again on April 30 for a fix-date hearing.