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

Poke bowl frenzy is coming to Kelowna

Pacific Poke opens Downtown this July

First annual BE Awards celebrate Thompson Okanagan Businesses

Kelowna businesses shine in several categories

Kelowna RCMP investigating car accident

The car is believed to have been travelling 150 km/hr

The new event will allow kids to take part in Across the Lake Swim

A new free event just for kids will leave their hearts and… Continue reading

Planned power outage upsets Kelowna neighbourhood

Some Toovey Heights residents claim no advance notice given by FortisBC

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

Fake attempted abduction not funny to B.C. neighbourhood residents

Two teenage boys won’t face criminal charges after scaring girl

New craft brewery location chosen in Kelowna

Rustic Reel Brewing says it will produce beer at new location on Vaughan Avenue

Mosquitoes out in full force already? Blame the weather

But a B.C. mosquito expert says the heat wave will help keep the pests at bay

Man pleads not guilty in 1987 slayings of B.C. couple

William Talbott of SeaTac was arraigned Tuesday in Snohomish County Superior Court

New GOP plan: Hold kids longer at border – but with parents

Move would ease rules that limit how much time minors can be held with their parents

Without a big data strategy, Canadians at risk of being ‘data cows’

Presentation said artificial intelligence could give Facebook and Amazon even more power

Five B.C. families stuck in Japan as Canada refuses visas for adopted babies

Lawyer points to change in American policy around adoptions from Japan

It may be ‘lights, camera, action!’ for talented B.C. doctor

Rob Forde is waiting to hear if he’ll become The Basement Doctor in his own reality show

Most Read