Trial for Peterborough couple charged with fraud begins after three years

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A city couple experiencing financial difficulties used money for the special needs hockey team they founded to finance their own lives, a prosecutor said Monday as he outlined the Crown’s theory in the case of David and Catherine Tuck.

The Tucks, who founded the Peterborough Huskies in 2013, each pleaded not guilty to separate charges of fraud over $5,000 as their judge-alone trial now scheduled for six days got underway in Peterborough Ontario Court of Justice.

The Tucks were the only ones authorized to make deposits and withdrawals from the account they opened in the Huskies’ name and the sole managers of the email address people could donate through, assistant Crown attorney Sam Humphrey said.

Between the spring of 2013 and the summer of 2016, approximately $30,000 was withdrawn from the Huskies’ account and while many expenses such as ice time rentals and equipment were paid by cheque, much cash remains unaccounted for.

Banking records show cash was withdrawn from the Huskies account on the same day money was put into David’s personal bank account, Humphrey said.

About $9,000 in donations emailed to David went into his personal account, he said, adding that only about $1,200 was transferred to the team.

The trial will hear from several witnesses, including someone who will speak about how by January 2016, the Huskies were some $4,000 behind on payments for ice time, causing a township to cancel several future rentals.

Withdrawals from the Huskies account, however, continued at this time, Humphrey said.

Lead investigator Det. Const. Keith Calderwood will testify how Catherine, during her statement, admitted that some $10,000 was used for the Tucks’ personal expenses.

Court will also hear that David was paid by direct deposit and cheque at his two jobs, ruling out cash deposits from two workplaces, Humphrey said.

The trial’s first witness took the stand Monday afternoon after much of the day’s earlier proceedings focused on legal arguments.

Lucas Heard, a highway maintenance worker who first met the Tucks in 2015, hosted a Halloween fundraiser dubbed Heard’s Hell Home to benefit his neighbourhood and to raise money for the Huskies – on which his niece played – in October 2015.

Visitors paid $2 to enter the haunted house, helping him raise about $1,200 on the nights of Oct. 17, 24 and 30, Heard testified.

>David, who volunteered there with one of the Tucks’ two sons, asked for the money after it was counted each night and got it, he said heard said during chief examination by Humphrey.

Heard he didn’t raise the point with David, but he testified that he wanted to deliver the final amount via a cheque. “I didn’t like it … I wanted to deliver the full amount at once.”

Heard said he never got a receipt for the money despite asking for one three or four times, after his accountant told him he could claim it on his income tax.

During cross examination by defence lawyer Brad Allison, he was asked how he could remember the totals from each night. Heard said he wrote them down on papers that are stored at home in a box, where they were put when he moved.

Allison asked why he didn’t first ask for a receipt until the following April, to which Heard said income tax season was coming and he was getting ready.
Heard agreed with a suggestion he didn’t turn over all of the money. He actually raised about $1,500 and kept about $300 – $100 per night – to cover his own setup expenses.

Read the full story over at The Peterborough Examiner.

This story was summarized by Canadian Fraud News Inc.