Nova Scotia·CBC INVESTIGATES

Ed House, former lottery operator, reaches settlement with CNIB

The CNIB has reached a settlement with one of the people it was suing for missing money.

'I don't have to dream about it, sleep with it, think about it 24/7,' says Truro man

Ed House ran a CNIB lottery booth at the Truro Walmart for 18 months, ending in November 2013, when he was told his account was missing $29,000. (CBC)

The CNIB has reached a settlement with one of the people it was suing for missing money.

The national charity, which helps visually impaired Canadians, took four people across the Maritimes to court and alleged they were responsible for approximately $100,000 in missing money from lottery booths they operated for the charity.

One of those people was Truro resident Ed House. In May 2012, he operated the lottery kiosk in the Truro Walmart. Regular audits showed no problems until September 2013, when he was told money was missing. The amount of money that was missing fluctuated until November, when he was told $29,000 was unaccounted for.

The booth was closed and his pay withheld. House lodged a complaint with the provincial labour department, which is still investigating the matter.

The CNIB took House to small claims court, seeking the maximum allowable judgment of $25,000. He missed the court date and the judgment was issued against him.

'It's over with'

However, House planned to ask the court on Monday night to overturn that judgment based on a report from the Truro Police Service, which had eliminated him as a suspect in the case.

House also maintained his contract had expired and that the CNIB incorrectly showed in court documents that the Atlantic Lottery Corporation had confirmed the amount of missing money.

On Monday night, CNIB lawyer Emma Halpin asked the Truro Small Claims Court adjudicator to adjourn the case, saying the CNIB and House had reached a settlement. The paperwork hasn't been signed and the terms are confidential, but House said the small claims judgment will be removed once the agreement is finalized.

"It's over with. It's done. I don't have to dream about it, sleep with it, think about it 24/7 every single day," House said after the court appearance.

"Basically, I was afraid it was getting to a point where it was going to drain me and affect my health, so I just decided to make an agreement with them to get this thing over with."

Lawyer declines comment

House said he feels like he's cleared his name and he hopes he's cleared a path for the others that are going through the same thing.

The CNIB's lawyer declined to comment after the court proceedings.

House and the others have maintained they did nothing wrong, while the CNIB has said the legal actions aren't about accusing people of taking the funds directly, but about holding business owners to their contracts.

All of those being sued say the CNIB was never able to show them how the missing amounts were calculated.

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