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Multiple charges were laid against Andrij Olesiuk after he claimed to have handed over $4,100 to a door-to-door canvasser to give to the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team, according to the Saskatoon StarPhoenix.
Olesiuk claimed that he did not know the name of the woman he gave the money to. He also said that the receipt she gave him was burned in a house fire.
Over a year ago, Olesiuk had multiple charges laid against him involved with using the Humboldt Broncos’ fundraiser for his own benefit.
According to evidence and documents from the case, close to $3,700 was deposited into 33-year-old Olesiuk’s account. Prosecutor Darren Howarth told the court that the money was never sent to the Saskatchewan hockey team. The money was raised using the #PrayForHumboldt GoFundMe page.
The trial took place at the Saskatoon provincial court on Wednesday. When Olesiuk testified he said, “My intention was to raise funds for the families affected by the tragedy.”
According to the Olesiuk, he gave away the money on April 24, 2018. He claimed in court that the money totaled $4,100.
Olesiuk claimed that he gave away the money in $100 bills and that his family donated about $700 to the cause themselves.
He was charged and arrested in November 2018.
Olesiuk claimed that he sent the money with the canvasser because it would be easier than traveling to Humboldt. He also said that she seemed to be legitimate.
The GoFundMe page specified that Olesiuk was supposed to give the money directly to the team. He was unsure where the money he handed over to the woman had ended up.
His prosecutor said, “You gave it to someone you didn’t know… You didn’t even know if she was representing the Humboldt Broncos hockey team.”
Olesiuk responded, “I don’t know for sure.”
He also said that the house fire took place three months after the incident destroying his receipt which was delivered to him a couple of days after handing over the money.
According to the police, there were 35 people who contributed to the GoFundMe page before it was closed a few weeks after the accident.
Olesiuk was charges included:
- Fraud over $5,000
- Fraud under $5,000
- Possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000
- Possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000
- Laundering proceeds of crime
According to RCMP Cpl. Craig Hall, most of the money was spent at Canadian Tire, convenience stores, and fast food restaurants.
Closing arguments are taking place Thursday morning.