CRANBROOK, B.C. – A man who pledged $7.5 million to a British Columbia junior hockey team has pleaded guilty to an unrelated fraud charge.
Mike Gould of Calgary was charged with fraud and using a forged document over allegations he wrote bad cheques to a Cranbrook, B.C., restaurant.
The owner of Northwest Grill claimed Gould hosted a dinner for the hockey team and others after making the multimillion-dollar announcement last October, but the $8,000 banquet bill went unpaid.
Restaurant owner Jolene Salanski claimed cheques were provided to cover the costs, but there were insufficient funds in the accounts.
Gould’s lawyer made the guilty plea to the fraud charge on Gould’s behalf in Cranbrook provincial court on Tuesday.
He still faces the second charge of using a forged document and the case has been put over for disposition to Feb. 26.
Gould could not immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday.
He pledged to donate the cash to the Kimberley Dynamiters hockey club during a home game.
At the time the announcement was made, Gould said he was born in Kimberley and grew up playing hockey there.
He said he has two boys who play hockey in the city and the donation was a celebration of his love for family and the game.
Gould has said he won a 2008 jackpot in a EuroMillions lottery but didn’t disclose the value.
The team said it has yet to receive any money.
Gould said in an interview in November that issues with his bank prevented the money from being transferred.
The donation was also intended to provide funds for the Kimberley Minor Hockey Association, which said it has seen a drop in corporate sponsorship because of Gould’s pledge.
(Cranbrook Daily Townsman)