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Trial begins for former OPP association brass charged with fraud
Crown prosecutors say that the former president, vice president and chief administration officer of the Ontario Provincial Police Association (OPPA) used their "high ranking positions" to direct travel away from a long-standing travel agency to one of their own.
Speaking in court on Tuesday, Crown Prosecutor David Friesen told the jury that in 2014, five men—including the OPPA members—bought a travel agency and then allegedly directed all OPPA travel to their own business First Response Travel Group. This was done without the knowledge of the OPPA board, Friesen said.
"All five worked together to hide the truth of what they were doing,” he said.
The Crown also alleges former police officer turned defence lawyer Andrew McKay set up a consulting company that was paid $5,000 monthly by the OPPA. The jury heard the money paid to the consulting company helped the three OPPA executives pay for their shares in the new travel agency.
Karl Walsh, James Christie and Martin Bain, Andrew McKay and Francis Chantiam are all facing charges of fraud over $5,000.
The OPPA represents 10,000 OPP officers and civilians on the force.