Lawyer wants fraud charges tossed out

Judge to de­cide June 25 after lawyer claims Huskies co-founders are in­no­cent

The Peterborough Examiner - - Local - TODD VANDONK Peter­bor­ough This Week

Who’s the vic­tim in the Peter­bor­ough Huskies fraud in­ves­ti­ga­tion?

It’s not the play­ers, par­ents or com­mu­nity; it’s David and Cathie Tuck, claims de­fence lawyer Brad Al­li­son.

“I came here to es­tab­lish she is en­tirely in­no­cent,” Cathie’s lawyer said Wed­nes­day in On­tario Court of Jus­tice.

Al­li­son, who rep­re­sented both founders of the or­ga­ni­za­tion un­til the start of the trial, filed an ap­pli­ca­tion for a di­rected ver­dict fol­low­ing as­sis­tant Crown at­tor­ney Sam Humphrey’s fi­nal wit­nesses in the case.

David, who rep­re­sented him­self for the re­main­der of the trial, joined the ap­pli­ca­tion but didn’t make any sub­mis­sions.

Seek­ing a di­rected ver­dict after the close of the Crown’s case af­fords Al­li­son two kicks at the can. If Jus­tice Jen­nifer Brod­er­ick de­nies the ap­pli­ca­tion, he can still choose to call a de­fence, and try to prove that Humphrey didn’t prove the al­le­ga­tions be­yond a rea­son­able doubt.

For the ap­pli­ca­tion to be suc­cess­ful and the case be thrown out, Al­li­son has to prove Humphrey pro­vided no ev­i­dence upon which a judge alone or prop­erly in­structed jury could con­vict the Tucks of fraud over $5,000.

The in­for­ma­tion on the charges filed by the pros­e­cu­tion, al­lege the cou­ple used do­nated money to the spe­cial needs or­ga­ni­za­tion for per­sonal use. The Crown’s case heav­ily re­lies on fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tions be­tween the ac­cused’s per­sonal ac­counts and a Huskies busi­ness ac­count.

“There’s noth­ing (no ev­i­dence) in­di­cat­ing they were do­nated funds,” Al­li­son ar­gued in his ap­pli­ca­tion sub­mis­sion.

“We have no idea where one given dol­lar went over three years.”

In re­sponse to the de­fence’s ap­pli­ca­tion, Humphrey pulled up a spread­sheet high­light­ing sev­eral oc­ca­sions where money was taken out of the Huskies ac­count and on or around the same day put into per­sonal ac­counts of the Tucks.

The judge pointed out that those records didn’t show ev­i­dence that it was do­nated money be­ing moved. Brod­er­ick also agreed with Al­li­son that there didn’t seem to be any ev­i­dence of any­one suf­fer­ing from de­pri­va­tion.

“That is an is­sue plagu­ing me quite frankly,” she said, not­ing that lead in­ves­ti­ga­tor Det. Const. Keith Calder­wood ad­mit­ted dur­ing his tes­ti­mony that he never spoke to any wit­nesses that said they didn’t get what they paid for when giv­ing money to the Tucks.

Al­li­son pointed out by law the Crown has to prove the in­ten­tion or knowl­edge of de­ceit, false­hood or dis­hon­esty. Humphrey agreed he didn’t call any­one wit­nesses to prove this but ar­gued the Tucks were dis­hon­est be­cause they used do­nated money to pay for per­sonal bills.

“Why not make out (cheques) to Dave and Cathie Tuck,” he asked, mak­ing note that records show money com­ing from Gi­ant Tiger, Dar­ling In­sur­ance and Cana­dian Tire Jump Start.

“They are giv­ing money for the hockey team. Not for use by the Tucks for per­sonal ex­penses.”

Al­li­son also sub­mit­ted that there was con­fu­sion of what the Peter­bor­ough Huskies en­tity was. Was it a busi­ness, in­cor­po­rated, non-for-profit or char­ity or­ga­ni­za­tion, he won­dered.

“I never heard any ev­i­dence of that,” he ex­plained.

Humphrey said both Tucks ad­mit­ted it was a non-for-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion dur­ing their po­lice state­ments.

How­ever, Al­li­son said it was a reg­is­tered busi­ness ac­count. He said it is pru­dent for busi­ness men and women to com­min­gle money be­tween per­sonal and busi­ness ac­counts for many rea­sons, in­clud­ing tax im­pli­ca­tions.

“It is far from crim­i­nal,” he ex­plained. He said the money was ac­tu­ally theirs to spend how they wanted be­cause the Crown didn’t prove it was a non-for-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion or that they promised the do­nated money to be spent on spe­cific things like ice-time for the hockey team.

“One can­not de­fraud them­selves,” he said.

Brod­er­ick will give her rul­ing on the ap­pli­ca­tion June 25.


David and Cather­ine Tuck of the Peter­bor­ough Huskies leave Peter­bor­ough On­tario Court of Jus­tice on Nov. 3, 2016 .

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