Loren Reagan, accused of major fraud charges in a failed hockey trip to Europe, is guided back into a sheriff’s vehicle to be transported to Okanagan Correctional Centre. Dustin Godfrey/Western News

Okanagan hockey fraud trial to spend 1 of 3 weeks in Kelowna

One week of Loren Reagan’s trial, starting on Nov. 5, will be in Kelowna, with two weeks in Penticton

Trial dates have been set for a man accused of defrauding hockey parents of tens of thousands of dollars, with one of three weeks to be heard in Kelowna’s courthouse.

Loren Reagan’s trial will begin on Nov. 5 in Kelowna for one week, followed by two weeks in Penticton after he failed to appear at his trial last September.

Reagan was believed to be in Kuwait at the time of the trial, which he was expected to stand alongside co-accused Michael Elphicke, but has been in custody as of March this year.

Related: Alleged Okanagan hockey fraudster won’t skate free before trial

Reagan is facing one count each of fraud and theft over $5,000 and unauthorized operation of a lottery scheme for a failed youth hockey trip to Europe. Planning for the trip began in 2011, with hockey parents buying into the trip with their own money, as well as raffle tickets sold late in the year, Elphicke’s trial heard.

But come January 2012, the trip collapsed, with just $13,000 left in a bank account, despite raising over $180,000, the court heard last fall.

Reagan was denied bail in a March hearing, though reasons for the denial cannot be reported due to a publication ban.

Elphicke, who was found guilty of all counts, is currently awaiting a sentencing hearing, which he has been ordered to attend in Penticton, despite attempts to attend the hearing over video link.

Related: Crown seeking jail time for Okanagan hockey fraudster Elphicke

Crown lawyer Patrick Fullerton, who is also working Reagan’s trial, suggested he is seeking jail time. Defence lawyer James Pennington suggested either a suspended sentence or a conditional sentence — a period of probation or house arrest — would suffice.

Reagan’s trial is not the only one to move to Kelowna, even if just partially. Lawyers and judges have taken issue with the move in the past, as little court space has caused challenges for Penticton’s superior court chambers in the past.

After her trial went over time, Jennifer Leanne Montgomery’s trafficking trial moved north to Kelowna, and the high-profile matters of Grace and Pierre Robotti both were heard in Kelowna.

Related: Time-to-trial stats improve, but still worse than provincial standards

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Dustin Godfrey | Reporter

@dustinrgodfrey

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