B.C. hockey team says no money received from $7.5M donation pledge
'The commitment promised to the Kimberley Dynamiters and Kimberley Minor Hockey has not been received'
A B.C. man who received national media coverage for pledging $7.5 million to the Kimberley Dynamiters' Junior B hockey team has yet to make good on his promise, according to the team.
News of the huge donation was made public when Mike Gould, the man promising the millions, was honoured at a pregame ceremony in Kimberley on Oct 13.
Gould went on to do dozens of interviews and was featured in numerous articles and publications. He contacted CBC in Vancouver directly on Oct. 15, asking to be interviewed.
On Tuesday, the Kimberley Dynamiters issued a statement saying the team has not received any of the funds promised by Gould.
"The commitment promised to the Kimberley Dynamiters and Kimberley Minor Hockey has not been received," read the statement. "The organization believes that the completion of the season is the main priority and efforts will be dedicated to that purpose."
Gould could not be reached for comment on the Dynamiters' statement.
At the time of the donation, Dynamiters' president James Leroux told CBC News the team expected to receive the money by Oct 20, one week after the ceremony at centre ice.
Leroux also said Gould had shown members of the team's executive password-protected bank statements on his smart phone screen to prove his financial worth.
In an interview Oct 18, Gould said the Dynamiters would have a bank draft for the money "in five to seven business days."
On Oct. 27, Gould called CBC News to say his bankers had "screwed up" and that the cheques he had requested had not come through.
Gould, a Kimberley native who had been living in Calgary, told reporters he became rich through investing and winning the Euromillions Lottery in 2008.
CBC News was unable to confirm the lottery win because Euromillions only discloses names when winners request it.
When asked by CBC News on Oct. 18 to provide information to support his claims of wealth, Gould refused.
'Richer than Ritchie Rich'
"Everything is all confidential," he said.
"Put it this way, I'm richer than Ritchie Rich, and I'm not as rich as Scrooge McDuck."
One year after Gould's claimed lottery win, a notice of claim was filed against him in Rossland Provincial Court.
In it, Rob Sorensen of Sorensen's Drywall Ltd., alleges Gould used the company account to buy and then pawn $6,200 worth of new tools.
Sorensen and two employees identified the man in the Kimberley Dynamiters' photo as the same Mike Lawrence Gould named in the claim.
Sorensen said Gould walked onto a job site in Castlegar in January of 2009 asking for work.
He says Gould worked for him for "a couple of months" but disappeared when he was confronted about the tools.
No defence was ever filed in the case. Sorensen says he attempted to locate Gould but eventually gave up.
"I had no way of rectifying the situation so I just logged it as a loss and walked away," said Sorensen.
When asked about the allegations against him, Gould claimed he had never worked for Sorensen and said it may have been a case of mistaken identity.
- An earlier version of this story said Gould called CBC in Vancouver asking to be interviewed on Oct. 14. In fact, he called Oct. 15.Nov 15, 2017 3:30 PM PT