June 22nd, 2024

Bulk of charges dropped against Lethbridge businessman

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on December 16, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

The number of fraud-related charges against a Lethbridge businessman have been significantly whittled down.

Grant Ryan Stevenson, owner of Fisher Diesel, was facing more than 60 criminal charges, but they were reduced by more than a third during a brief hearing Thursday in Lethbridge provincial court.

“I can tell my client that he’s gone from 62 counts to 18,” Lethbridge Lawyer Marcus Mueller said after learning how many charges the Crown withdrew from the “massive fraud file.”

“This is a file that has thousands of pages of disclosure and information,” Crown Prosecutor Julian Spearchief-Morris confirmed.

Stevenson was charged earlier this year after police with the economic crimes unit began an investigation into a Lethbridge business in 2021. Police allege more than two dozen people were defrauded of $500,000 between 2018 and 2021 through business dealings that included credit card fraud and the advanced payment of fees for services that were not provided.

Stevenson, 40, is charged with 11 counts of unauthorized use of a credit card and six counts of uttering a forged document. Before the number of charges were reduced, the Stirling resident was facing dozens of additional charges including possession of the proceeds of crime, use of a public seal, forgery, false pretense over $5,000, mischief over $5,000, fraud under $5,000 and fraud over $5,000.

The matter is scheduled to return to court today.

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