Loren Reagan, accused of defrauding hockey parents of tens of thousands of dollars on a failed trip to Europe, was recently arrested on a Canada-wide warrant and was been denied bail.
Reagan, who had missed his trial in Penticton during the fall of 2017, was taken into custody on March 3 in Calgary. The bail hearing on Tuesday is under a publication ban.
Co-accused Michael Elphicke was found guilty of fraud and theft over $5,000 and unauthorized operation of a lottery scheme over the failed Okanagan Elite Hockey Association trip to Europe at the end of a weeks-long trial in October. He is now awaiting sentencing. Reagan, meanwhile, was wanted on a Canada-wide warrant after his lawyer at the time, Kim Ross from Calgary, informed the court that he believed Reagan had not intended to show up for trial after receiving notice that he was out of country.
During Elphicke’s trial, the court heard that the hockey program had raised about $184,000 from parents through a raffle. By mid-January 2012, just $13,000 remained in the Okanagan Elite Hockey Association accounts.
At the time of the trial, Elphicke had set up a Facebook group taking aim at Reagan for the charges, its title calling for “justice” for Reagan. That Facebook group is reportedly in the crosshairs of a fresh lawsuit brought on by Reagan against seven individuals, including Elphicke, who, in an interview, said he hadn’t been served the legal documents as of Monday.
Among the others named, Elphicke’s wife, Tana, and Linda Hansen, who sent the Western News photos of the legal document. The Western News reached out to the Calgary courthouse for confirmation of the lawsuit, but has not received a call back.
According to the document, the group’s description encouraged members to “feel free to use this medium to post your experiences, photos, videos or anything else regarding this man and his con games and scams.”
“Further posts called the plaintiff ‘a scumbag,’ ‘a piece of sh—’ and suggested he was a fraudster and a con man,” the lawsuit reads.
Though Elphicke said in an interview activity on the page had significantly died down since before the trial, it did continue until Facebook shut it down on Feb. 19, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit claims Reagan lost his job with the Kuwait Drilling Company as a result of the Facebook group and it was created to defame him.
“The Facebook postings have prejudiced the plaintiff in obtaining a fair trial in Penticton,” the lawsuit reads.
It is seeking $200,000 from Elphicke, $100,000 each from two other men and $50,000 each from four women, totalling $600,000, as well as legal costs.
Reagan is expected to return to the Penticton courthouse on March 26 to schedule a trial date.