The Supreme Court of B.C. has issued a Canada-wide warrant for the arrest of Loren Reagan after he failed to show up for his own trial for fraud and theft over $5,000 Monday morning.
Loren Reagan is one of two accused of a major fraud scheme in the Okanagan, involving the now-defunct Okanagan Elite Hockey Association’s plan to send young hockey players on a trip to Europe.
That effort raised over $125,000 according to Crown lawyer Patrick Fullerton, through unlicensed raffles and parent contributions, but no European trip materialized.
The Crown has also alleged Reagan and his then-business partner Michael Elphicke, the co-accused in the trial, had made personal payments with the money raised, as well as diverting some funds to a failed hockey dorm project in Penticton.
The trial was scheduled to start Monday morning, and since a conference call among lawyers and the justice overseeing the trial on Friday, Reagan’s former defence lawyer Kim Ross told the court he had received notice from Reagan that he was out of the country, reportedly in Kuwait, working for an oil company, according to Elphicke.
Ross notified the court that he had advised Reagan there would be a warrant for his arrest if he were a no-show for his trial, which Reagan acknowledged, but said he could not make it back to Penticton in time.
With a warrant for his arrest now issued, the next time Reagan enters the country, he will be arrested at the airport.
Ross has now been removed as legal counsel for Reagan, as the trial moves forward for Elphicke.
Although the incidents were set in 2011 and 2012, including an alleged criminal lottery scheme involving raffle tickets for hockey parents, charges weren’t sworn against the pair until 2015.
Fullerton told the court Monday morning the money raised through parents, expected to raise or pay a total of $5,500 per traveller, was going to some Bank of Montreal accounts, and a payment plan was set up with a third party.
The pair successfully paid the initial $15,000 toward that third party, Azorcan Global Tours, but when the time for a second payment came, there were insufficient funds in the accounts, which was inconsistent with the records of the funds raised.
Those funds raised were upwards of $125,000, but just $13,000 were left in the account at time to pay.
According to Fullerton, bank statements have shown a payments toward clothing, liquor and food, among other things in the name of Reagan.
The money also reportedly went toward a hockey dorm the pair were building, but eventually was ditched.