Two people from St. Anne, Man., are facing charges after a fraud involving a charity fishing tournament.
Winnipeg police said they began investigating the pair last year after reports of missing proceeds from a fundraiser that was supposed to benefit the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba (CHFM).
The suspects contacted the foundation last winter, police said, asking if they’d like to benefit from a fundraiser. The CHFM said yes, and corporate sponsors began signing on.
The Full Tilt Winter Walleye Tournament attracted almost 500 participants, netting more than $20,000 in entry fees, but after less than half of that was doled out as prizes for the winners, the foundation didn’t see a dime of the remaining funds — totalling $13,029.
Police allege the suspects pocketed the cash for their own financial gain.
Detective Bill Lodge of the Financial Crimes Unit told 680 CJOB that people involved in these types of crimes can be very persuasive.
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“A lot of times, these people are very good at their craft,” he said.
“You’re a known (charity) and you’re looking to raise money, and they want to help you… you look at the good in people for the most part.”
After an 11-month investigation into the affair, a 39-year-old woman and a 40-year-old man were arrested. The duo have been charged with theft over $5,000, as well as fraud over $5,000, laundering proceeds of crime and criminal breach of trust.
“You first of all have to talk to people and get statements from victims, and find out, figure out and triage what’s your next avenue,” Lodge said.
“Then you do digital authorization for bank accounts, bank records, and that sort of thing. Once you get that, you get into it and kind of follow the trail of the money, see where it goes.”