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

Injured mountain biker airlifted to hospital in Kelowna

A mountain biker spent the night with rescuers after suffering injuries

Summer solstice celebration

The Okanagan’s Largest Summer Solstice celebration is planned for June 21 in Penticton

Farmers’ market temporarily on the move

The Penticton Farmers’ Market is moving temporarily moving on June 23

UPDATED: Oliver wildfire extinguished, B.C. Wildfire mopping up

6-ha. brush fire contained before it could spread farther

Falkland artist favours, fights for fish

Lottie Kozak does all kinds of art; one of her favourite subjects, fish, is dwindling

Homeless people living on ‘Surrey Strip’ move into modular housing

BC Housing says 160 homeless people are being moved into temporary Whalley suites from June 19 to 21

Heat wave could lead to record-breaking electricity use: BC Hydro

Monday was a hot one, and many turned to fans and air conditioners for relief from the heat

Eagle’s death causes power outage

Thousands of Salmon Arm residents were without power for about an hour on Monday night

Tour rookie takes Golf BC Championship

Arizona’s George Cunnigham, 22, finished the Mackenzie Tour event in Kelowna at 20-under-par

Private schools continue to top Fraser Institute rankings

Think tank says its ratings are fair to all schools, public and private

Former Somali child refugee fights to stay in Canada

Former child refugee Abdoul Abdi’s judicial review set for today in Halifax

U.S. border separations ripple through midterm campaigns

Several Republicans to break from President Donald Trump amid boarder separation issues

Most Read