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Date fixed for alleged fraud inquiry

Jan 25 2012

A date has been set for a preliminary inquiry to investigate charges of fraud against the former president of Babe's Honey Farm.

Ernest Mark Pitcher, of Pitcher & Associates Public Accountants Inc., is charged with defrauding five clients of nearly $1 million. He was arrested by Saanich police on Dec. 30, 2010, at his home on Walton Road. The offences are alleged to have occurred between July 1, 2004, and May 19, 2010.

On the first five counts, Pitcher is charged with defrauding Island Marine Construction Services of $391,666, Richard J. Wey and Associates Land Surveying Inc. of $135,000, Troy Electric Sales and Service Ltd. of $23,235, JK Restorations Ltd. doing business as Goodbye Graffiti of $7,861 and Advance Conference Management Inc. of $59,948.

It is alleged that Pitcher told clients they owed money to the Receiver General of Canada for tax, payroll or GST amounts, Janna Hyman, senior counsel with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, said in December 2010. The clients would write cheques that Pitcher allegedly used for his own tax payroll or GST accounts at either Babe's Honey Farm, Oregon Creek (Canada) Corp. or his accounting firm.

Pitcher is also charged with defrauding Island Marine Construction Services of $65,000 and Richard J. Wey and Associates Land Surveying Inc. and or Kinsey Point Holdings of $273,734.

The preliminary inquiry is to be held Dec. 18 to 20.

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