July 14th, 2024

Taber agricultural fraud case finally headed to trial

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on May 12, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A southern Alberta man will finally stand trial, some eight years after he was charged with defrauding three Taber agriculture businesses of nearly $1 million.
The case against Scott James Piggott was in Lethbridge Court of Queen’s Bench this week, where a week-long trial was scheduled to begin May 1, 2023.
Piggott, 40, is charged with two counts of theft over $5,000 and one charge of fraud over $5,000, stemming from fraudulent business deals between March and July 2013 in which hay was obtained but payment of more than $800,000 was not made.
Piggott was ordered to stand trial following a preliminary hearing in January 2017, but the trial in 2019 was cancelled after he re-elected to be tried by a judge alone instead of a judge and jury. At least one other trial was cancelled, as well, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Court was told Monday that the new trial will likely begin with a voir dire – a trial within a trial – to determine whether a statement the accused gave police was voluntary. It was also determined that some of the Crown and defence witnesses who are outside of the province may testify by closed-circuit TV.
Piggott also faces a fraud charge stemming from an offence in 2019 in Two Hills, Alta., east of Edmonton, and is accused of buying agriculture products from a producer, but failing to make any significant payments. He is also accused by the Montana Department of Justice of running a scam in that state involving non-delivery of cattle feed.
According to a recent story in The Western Producer, Montana investigators accuse Piggott of defrauding the state’s cattle producers of up to $5 million through his company, New Way Ag.

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