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Canada Humboldt Broncos GoFundMe fraudster found guilty

18:02  17 january  2020
18:02  17 january  2020 Source:   globalnews.ca

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The staff of GoFundMe got in contact with the president of the Humboldt Broncos as they work out how to distribute the money.[41]. On May 27, 2015, Smith was found guilty of fraud and other charges.[57] On May 31, 2015, the mmsdefensefund was removed from GoFundMe (an archived

a man standing in front of a brick building: Andrij Olesiuk, also known as Jay Max Olesiuk, was found guilty of creating a fraudulent GoFundMe campaign after the Humboldt Broncos crash.© Ryan Kessler / Global News Andrij Olesiuk, also known as Jay Max Olesiuk, was found guilty of creating a fraudulent GoFundMe campaign after the Humboldt Broncos crash.

A Saskatchewan man fabricated a story about a door-to-door canvasser and defrauded thousands of dollars from Humboldt BroncosGoFundMe donors, a Saskatoon judge ruled Friday.

Judge Brent Klause found Andrij Olesiuk guilty of charges including fraud under $5,000 and possession of property obtained by crime.

Klause said the evidence wasn’t complicated in delivering his verdict.

READ MORE: Man denies fraud allegation in Humboldt Broncos GoFundMe case

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1:37 Humboldt Broncos says GoFundMe open 2 more days, memorial fund to be set up. WATCH ABOVE: The Humboldt Broncos said Monday the GoFundMe campaign for the team will remain open until April 18 and that the funds donated will go into the Humboldt Broncos Memorial Fund to be

The millions raised by the Humboldt Broncos GoFundMe campaign should be distributed quickly, says victim compensation lawyer Kenneth Feinberg, who

He said he didn’t believe Olesiuk’s story about the woman at his door, saying no sensible person would’ve turned over thousands of dollars. He kept the Broncos money for his own use.

“It is too incredible a story to believe,” Klause said.

During trial in December, Olesiuk — also known as Jay Max Olesiuk — denied having ill intentions when he created a crowdfunding page titled #PrayForHumbolt.

Taking the stand in his own defence, Olesiuk said he started the campaign to support families affected by the crash that killed 16 people and injured 13 others on April 6, 2018.

A separate GoFundMe page eventually raised $15.1 million. Olesiuk’s effort brought in just under $3,800 and nearly $3,700 was direct deposited into his account.

According to Olesiuk’s testimony, a woman came to his Martensville, Sask. doorstep on April 24, soliciting donations for a Broncos charitable event. Rather than donate his fund directly to the Broncos, Olesiuk decided to give $4,100 in cash to her, he said.

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1:37 Humboldt Broncos says GoFundMe open 2 more days, memorial fund to be set up. WATCH ABOVE: The Humboldt Broncos said Monday the GoFundMe campaign for the team will remain open until April 18 and that the funds donated will go into the Humboldt Broncos Memorial Fund to be

Humboldt Broncos says GoFundMe open 2 more days, memorial fund to be set up. Any money donated outside of the online campaign will go to the Humboldt Strong Community Foundation to handle. Details on how the fund and the foundation will work were not immediately available.’

The accused said he didn’t remember the woman’s name or organization.

Crown prosecutor Darren Howarth argued the “mysterious woman” didn’t exist and Olesiuk’s defence was “ridiculous.”

Referencing a transaction log, Howarth said Olesiuk approved a $3,300 payment from GoFundMe to his account one day before the woman allegedly appeared. He received the payment on April 25, 2018.

“What are the odds…. that this lady just happened to show up in between the dates he initiated the withdrawal and received the money?” Howarth asked.

READ MORE: ‘Mysterious woman’ story in Humboldt Broncos GoFundMe case ‘ridiculous’: Crown

Olesiuk told court he received a receipt from the woman days later in his mailbox. However, the receipt wasn’t admitted as evidence during trial because the man said it was lost in a February 2019 house fire.

The defence entered a thank you note as an exhibit, which Olesiuk testified he received immediately after his donation to the unnamed woman. Under cross-examination, he admitted to never telling police or the Crown about the note.

Olesiuk said the note was in his garage, but an RCMP constable said officers never found it during a Nov. 20, 2018, search carried out at Olesiuk’s property.

Defence lawyer John Rozdilsky said Olesiuk didn’t hide parts of his story, like the facts he set up the crowdfunding page and how the Broncos were never paid.

Olesiuk was “neither argumentative nor evasive” and could recall the woman’s appearance and apparel, just not her name, Rozdilsky argued.

“During those times, I think people were trusting that money would get where it had to get,” Rozdilsky said.

'Too incredible of a story to believe': Guilty verdict in Humboldt Broncos GoFundMe fraud .
A Saskatoon judge says Andrij Olesiuk’s claim that he gave cash to a canvasser fundraising for the Humboldt Broncos — after he pocketed almost $3,700 he made off a GoFundMe campaign allegedly raising money for the hockey team — is “too incredible of a story to believe.” Olesiuk, 33, closed his eyes and swayed back and forth in his seat as Judge Brent Klause read his decision on Friday in Saskatoon provincial court, finding Olesiuk guilty of fraud under $5,000 and possession of property obtained by crime. Sentencing arguments have been adjourned until March 3.

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