Michael Elphicke, found guilty on major fraud and theft charges in October last year, leaves the Penticton Law Courts Monday afternoon for lunch hour during trial. Dustin Godfrey/Western News

Okanagan hockey fraudster’s health complicates sentencing

Michael Elphicke’s terminal kidney failure has made completing a pre-sentence report difficult

An Okanagan man convicted of major fraud charges over a failed youth hockey trip to Europe is set for a sentencing hearing on Feb. 23 unless health complications further delay the completion of a pre-sentence report.

Michael Elphicke was found guilty of fraud and theft over $5,000 and unauthorized management of a lottery scheme in late October, as defence counsel James Pennington also failed to argue a charter application to have his charges dismissed on time-to trial rules.

Related: Okanagan hockey fraudster found guilty on all counts

But Elphicke has been finding difficulties to consult with a parole officer to complete a pre-sentence report, as he faces complications from terminal kidney failure.

Those complication have resulted in three amputations on one foot, according to Pennington, who said “at least one more round” of surgery is expected in the foreseeable future.

“His ability to get out and about is extremely limited,” Pennington said, suggesting a probation officer in Calgary would likely need to visit Elphicke in hospital to complete the report.

Lawyers agreed to a Feb. 23 sentencing date, with some flexibility in case a pre-sentence report is not completed in time.

It wouldn’t be the first time Elphicke’s health complications threw a wrench in court proceedings — prior to his verdict hearing, Elphicke was put in hospital in Calgary, where he had his first amputation, and was largely bed-ridden at the time.

Related: Alleged hockey fraudster could face justice over Skype

Ahead of the hearing, lawyers and a B.C. Supreme Court justice had to negotiate a way to hold the hearing, with Elphicke unable to make it to Penticton’s courthouse. Ultimately, Elphicke faced his verdict over video conference from a room in a Calgary hospital.

Elphicke had attempted to argue in trial he, too, was a victim of Loren Reagan, whom he portrayed as the mastermind of the Okanagan Elite Hockey Association and its intended trip to Europe. But as hockey parents dumped about $180,000 into OEHA accounts through selling raffle tickets and their own contributions, both Elphicke and Reagan siphoned off money, with most of it benefiting Reagan.

Related: Alleged Okanagan hockey fraudster takes the stand

Justice Bruce Greyell determined Elphicke’s signing of blank cheques for Reagan even after he had taken measures to curb Reagan’s out-of-control spending made Elphicke a willing enabler of Reagan.

During trial, Reagan was overseas, believed to be in Kuwait working for an oil company, and there has been no word on any potential return to Canada.

Related: Loren Reagan skates off on hockey fraud trial


@dustinrgodfrey

dustin.godfrey@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

South Okanagan curling team sweeps into BC Games

Team consisting of Summerland and Penticton players qualifies for the BC Games

Penticton hospital fourth busiest in the region for opioid overdose

Incarceration and residential treatment could be adding to the number of deaths… Continue reading

Interior Health managers voice discontent

Negative comments about work culture aimed at CEO Chris Mazurkewich.

Video: Bulky bobcat goes for a stroll

Bob Lindley shared a video of a sneaky bobcat strolling through his yard in Vernon.

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Kelowna - Students were unaware of resources on campus

OK Falls pot shop vandalized a week after opening

Windows were smashed Wednesday evening and spray paint called the owner a “goof” and a “pedo”

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

B.C. commuters vote to rename bus service to ‘Jeff’

The company asked and the people of Facebook answered

EDITORIAL: With harassment allegations, students deserve better at UBCO

The lack of communication with students isn’t good enough for the Kelowna campus

Physical altercation turns to online threats in Celista

Police were called to a Shuswap ice rink after a group of men physically fought each other

Arson suspect heads to court

Vernon man suspected of starting a string of 2014 fires in Vernon

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Most Read