The highest court in the province has upheld a decision to stay charges in one of the biggest fraud investigations in Newfoundland and Labrador history. The Hickman Equipment case goes back to 2002. That’s when the company went out of business with $113 million in debt.
Selling heavy equipment that the company didn’t own
In 2012, four key players with Hickman Equipment — general manager Hubert Hunt, vice-president of sales William Parsons, chief financial officer Gary Hillyard and sales manager John King — were each charged with 16 fraud-related offences, including falsifying books and documents. In part, it was alleged that they had been involved in selling heavy equipment that the company didn’t own.
Judgement is being reviewed by Crown prosecutor
In February 2015, Supreme Court Justice Carl Thompson stayed the charges against the four managers saying their Charter rights had been violated because it took so long for them to be charged. Thompson said during the 10 years it took to lay charges the men were under suspicion, had ruined careers, and some had their health affected by anxiety and depression. Crown prosecutor Lloyd Strickland said the 2-1 Court of Appeal judgement is being reviewed and a decision will be made soon about whether the matter will be appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Read more about the Hickman Equipment case at CBC News.