British Columbia

Man who promised B.C. hockey team $7.5M in court on fraud and forgery charges

Mike Gould allegedly paid for an $8,000 party at a Cranbrook restaurant with bad cheques.

It's alleged that Mike Gould used bad cheques to pay for a party thrown to celebrate his big donation pledge

From left to right: Kimberley Dynamiters President James Leroux, $7.5-million donor Mike Gould, Gould's step-brother Duane Johnson, Dynamiter board members Karrie Hall, Al Rice and Troy Pollock. Photo from Oct 13, 2017. (Revelstoke Review)

A man who pledged millions of dollars to a B.C. junior hockey team is in court today in Cranbrook after he allegedly bounced cheques.

Mike Gould is facing charges of fraud and forgery relating to a party he threw at a Cranbrook restaurant the day after he appeared at centre ice at a Kimberley Dynamiters Junior B hockey game, promising the team a $7.5-million donation.

Gould and about 50 guests ran up a bill of almost $8,000 at the Northwest Grill in Cranbrook on Oct 14. Owner Jolene Salanski told CBC Gould initially tried to pay for the party with two cheques, however they turned out to be in another person's name.

Cranbrook RCMP Const. Katy Forgeron says the restaurant was eventually paid by Gould in cash, however charges were laid relating to the cheques.

"Crown counsel approved two charges, one of forgery and one of fraud for the restaurant bill he did not pay at the time," said Forgeron.

The Kimberley Dynamiters have not received any of the money promised by the 38-year-old Gould, who claims he got rich winning the Euromillions lottery in 2008 and through investments.

He also told CBC News he made a lot of money gambling in the United States. 

The Kimberley Minor Hockey Association, which was to receive some of the funds promised by Gould, have issued a statement asking that businesses and sponsors in town continue to support community hockey.

The association says after Gould's public pledge, many sponsors withdrew their support thinking it was no longer needed.

With files from Bob Keating