Nfld. & Labrador

House arrest for two more Hickman Equipment managers guilty of fraud

Former chief financial officer Gary Hillyard and former sales manager John King were sentenced Friday.
Former Hickman Equipment managers John King, left, and Gary Hillyard appear in court Friday. (CBC News)

Two more former managers at a long-defunct heavy-equipment company have been sentenced to house arrest for fraud offences dating back 26 years.

Former Hickman Equipment chief financial officer Gary Hillyard and former sales manager John King were sentenced Friday for their roles in defrauding creditors, contributing to the St. John's company's $110-million debt.

Hillyard and King are two of four managers at the company, which went out of business in 2002, jointly charged with 16 counts of fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit fraud, one count of falsifying documents and one count of circulating a false prospectus to defraud creditors.

Hickman Equipment went out of business in 2002.

Hillyard, 64, was in charge of the company's bookkeeping and pleaded guilty to one count of circulating a false prospectus to defraud creditors. He has been given a conditional sentence of nine months' house arrest. 

King, 62, pleaded guilty to one count of fraud in excess of $5,000 for the part he played in selling equipment that was deemed collateral for creditors. He received a conditional sentence of six months' house arrest.

Both sentences were based on a joint submission by Crown and defence attorneys.

Fraud occurred between 1992 and 2002

In September, former general manager Hubert Hunt was sentenced to one year's house arrest after pleading guilty to conspiring to commit fraud.

The incidents occurred between 1992 and 2002, but even after police became involved, it took a decade to lay criminal charges.

That delay led the defence to successfully argue in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court that the matter be dropped because it took an unreasonable length of time to lay charges. That decision was overruled in April 2017 when the Crown brought the case to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Former vice-president of sales William Parsons is scheduled to appear in Supreme Court on Dec. 3.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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