Man who pledged millions to BC hockey team sentenced on unrelated fraud

first_imgCRANBROOK, B.C. – A man who promised millions of dollars to a junior hockey team in southeastern British Columbia has been placed on six months of probation after pleading guilty to an unrelated fraud charge.Mike Gould also faced a second charge of using a forged document but it was stayed when he appeared Thursday in Cranbrook provincial court.In addition to probation, Gould was also fined $4,000 and must complete 60 hours of community service.Gould was charged last October after he hosted a celebration for the Kimberley Dynamiters and hockey officials following his promise to donate $7.5 million to the team and the Kimberley Minor Hockey Association.He wrote a check to cover the $8,000 bill for the dinner at a local restaurant but it was returned because of insufficient funds in the account.Gould has said he won a 2008 jackpot in a EuroMillions lottery but has never disclosed the value and in past interviews he has blamed problems with a bank for preventing the transfer to the hockey team.Lawyer Morne Coetzee told the court her client took the cheques to provide payment to the restaurant in a moment of panic because he couldn’t liquidate some financial assets that had been frozen.Gould settled the tab with a cash payment six weeks after the event.“I’m very sorry for my mistakes,” Gould told Judge Lynal Doerksen. “I should never have done it in the first place and I’m kicking myself in the ass for it.”Despite the eventual payment to the restaurant, the fraud charge still stood, said Crown counsel Kristian DeJong.“He’s still convicted of it because a fraud is a fraud. You don’t undo these things once they’re done and that’s why he was sentenced,” DeJong said outside court.The Crown had asked for the $4,000 fine, 12 months of probation and 60 hours of community service. The defence argued the appropriate sentence should be a higher fine of up to $15,000 that he was able to pay, but no probation and community service of 20 hours.Doerksen said co-operation with police, an early guilty plea, and repayment to the restaurant were mitigating factors in sentencing. (Cranbrook Daily Townsman)last_img