January 15th, 2021

Trial date finally set in $500K theft, fraud case

By Jensen, Randy on September 3, 2020.

Lethbridge Herald

A trial date has finally been set after more than four years for a 49-year-old man accused of stealing nearly $500,000 from a Taber business.

Scott Allen Blanchard will have his day in court on March 3 of next year after setting a trial date on Monday in Lethbridge provincial court. All Taber provincial court cases are currently being heard in Lethbridge with the ongoing closure of the Taber courthouse due to COVID-19.

Blanchard was charged in 2016 with theft and fraud over $5,000. With this latest trial date being fixed on Monday, it will be the third time the case has been set for trial.

On Oct. 11, 2016 Blanchard elected to be tried by a Court of Queen’s Bench judge and jury with a preliminary hearing. The preliminary hearing was later waived but a trial was set for November 2018. Several months before the trial, the court was told additional witnesses had been identified, and the trial was adjourned until October 2019 in front of a judge alone. That trial was also later cancelled.

Blanchard was arrested and charged in August 2016 following an investigation that began two years earlier after police received a complaint of theft and possible fraud.

The investigation found that close to $500,000 had been misappropriated from the Oilmen’s Club in Taber during the time Blanchard was manager.

– With files from Delon Shurtz

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