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Disclosure forces adjournment of fraud trial

Posted on January 26, 2017 by Westwind Weekly

Delon Shurtz
Southern Alberta Newspapers

A four-day trial for a woman charged more than two years ago with fraud and false pretenses has been adjourned so the woman’s lawyer can receive additional disclosure relating to the case.

Donna Pearl Stinn Friesen was scheduled to stand trial Thursday in Lethbridge provincial court before lawyer Greg White asked for the adjournment. The Crown didn’t oppose the adjournment, and even noted it would benefit the Crown’s case since some its witnesses were unavailable to attend the trial.

Stinn-Friesen, 61, is charged with fraud over and under $5,000, and multiple counts of false pretenses over and under $5,000.

Lethbridge police laid the charges in October 2014 and alleged that more than a dozen victims were defrauded of $250,000 between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2013.

An investigation by the economic crimes unit determined a ticket-brokerage company called Seat Crave Ltd. was established by a Stirling woman in the spring of 2013. The woman allegedly solicited individuals to either invest in the business or become clients by purchasing event tickets. In most cases clients who purchased tickets didn’t receive them or received fake tickets, and most investors did not receive any return on their investment.

The case is scheduled to return to court Jan. 19 when – depending on whether more disclosure has been provided – new trial dates may be set.

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