CBC Investigates

Accused Halifax Pride thief now charged with credit card fraud in Alberta

Christopher Daniel Joseph Scullino, 29, faces eight counts of credit card fraud in Okotoks, Alberta. He's evaded a Nova Scotia-wide arrest warrant for more than a year related to a theft from Halifax Pride.

Christopher Daniel Joseph Scullino charged last month in Okotoks

Christopher Scullino posted this on his Facebook page on Nov. 14. He is accused of defrauding Halifax Pride of more than $16,000 in 2013. (Christopher Scullino/Facebook)

A man who evaded trial after allegedly stealing from Halifax Pride has now been charged with eight counts of credit card fraud in Alberta related to his work at a Home Depot just south of Calgary. 

Christopher Daniel Joseph Scullino was charged by RCMP in Okotoks last month.

The 29-year-old still faces three outstanding charges in Halifax after more than $16,000 went missing in 2013 from Halifax Pride, a non-profit that organizes the city's annual festival celebrating sexual and gender diversity.

After Scullino didn't show up to Halifax provincial court in May 2014, Halifax Regional Police issued a Nova Scotia-wide warrant for his arrest.

That warrant stops at the Nova Scotia border, however, although law enforcement officials across Canada can search a database to see it. RCMP in Alberta are under no obligation to send Scullino back to Nova Scotia, or even tell local police he was found. 

Police are more likely to communicate about people accused of violent offences, HRP Const. Stacey Opalka said.

"It is basically a case-by-case basis," Opalka said. "The onus is upon the agency if they want to go pick this person up." 

Chris Hansen, spokesperson for the Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service, said Alberta prosecutors did not alert Nova Scotia prosecutors to Scullino's arrest.

'Not once, but twice'

Scullino was a board member of Halifax Pride in 2013 and had access its bank accounts. An internal investigation by the organization suggested Scullino allegedly "used some sort of system to funnel that money into his own account," board chair Willem Blois told CBC News Tuesday. 

Christopher Scullino has evaded a Nova Scotia-wide arrest warrant for more than a year. (Christopher Scullino/Facebook)

No money was ever returned to Halifax Pride, he said.

"It's upsetting. I don't hold an onus on anyone. I don't feel like there was a miscarriage of justice or anything of that nature. I just think it's a sad situation," Blois said.

"It's just very, very unfortunate that someone could allegedly go and do something like this, not once, but twice."

Since then, Halifax Pride has put in stronger financial controls to avoid fraud in the future, Blois said. 

'We've moved on'

Board members still feel a sense of "sadness and loss" over the missing money, raised from donations and sponsorships, he said. The festival still ended the 2013 season financially secure, he said.

"We've moved on from it," Blois said. "I think the chance that we're ever going to receive money back is unlikely, but if there is an organization out there that is missing funds, I would certainly hope that they can recoup some of it."

As part of Scullino's Alberta court-ordered release conditions, he is banned from the Home Depot store in Okotoks. Scullino was an associate there and is no longer an employee, Home Depot confirmed by email.

Scullino did not respond to multiple requests for an interview. He is scheduled to appear in Okotoks provincial court Dec. 4.


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