Andrij Olesiuk, who was found guilty of charges including fraud under $5,000 and possession of property obtained by crime enters after he defrauded thousands of dollars from Humboldt Broncos GoFundMe donors, enters Saskatoon Provincial Court for his sentencing hearing in Saskatoon, Tuesday, June 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards

Man who set up fake Humboldt Broncos fundraiser gets 14-month jail sentence

Olesiuk received three months for the Humboldt fundraiser and 11 months for the other scheme

A man who set up a fake online fundraiser for the Humboldt Broncos following the Saskatchewan hockey team’s deadly bus crash has been sentenced to 14 months in jail.

Andrij Olesiuk was found guilty in January by a provincial court judge in Saskatoon of fraud under $5,000 and possession of stolen property obtained by crime.

During Tuesday’s sentencing, he also pleaded guilty to an investment fraud worth $65,000 that took place before the Broncos fundraiser.

Olesiuk, 33, offered remorse for his crimes through his lawyer.

“He is the author of his own misfortune,” said defence counsel John Rozdilsky.

Court heard Olesiuk raised about $3,900 through a GoFundMe account after the crash, but instead of the money going to the team, it was deposited into his personal account and spent.

During his trial, Olesiuk testified he closed down his account and gave $4,100 in cash to a woman who had come to his door collecting donations for the Broncos.

Court heard he lost the donation receipt in a house fire and couldn’t remember which organization the woman collecting donations was affiliated with.

Sixteen people were killed and thirteen others were injured when a bus carrying members of the Broncos junior hockey team collided with a semi-truck at a rural intersection in April 2018.

Crown prosecutor Darren Howarth called Olesiuk’s testimony “deceptive.”

“Taking advantage of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash is, to put it delicately, clearly reprehensible,” Howarth said outside court.

“If you’re going to take advantage of people in that way, find easy ways to take advantage of people, if you get caught, you’ll be prosecuted and you’ll go to jail.”

ALSO READ: B.C.’s COVID-19 modelling on track for next phase of reopening

Court heard GoFundMe reimbursed the donors to the fake account. It also heard that the crime was likely only discovered because of a police investigation into the larger fraud.

In that scheme, Olesiuk posed as a financial trader in cannabis stocks for a fake company that he pitched to a couple from British Columbia, including with a bogus business card and documents that appeared real, said Howarth.

That couple then invited another family member to make investments. A total of $65,000 was stolen from the trio from March 2017 to February 2018, which resulted in strained family relationships, court heard.

The only time Olesiuk spoke in court was to ask about his ability to continue with bottle drives when one of the conditions of his sentence is not to raise money online for charitable reasons.

Olesiuk received three months for the Humboldt fundraiser and 11 months for the other scheme, which must be served consecutively. He’s also been ordered to pay restitution to the victims.

Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

fraudHumboldt Broncos

Just Posted

COTR honours Orange Shirt Day

A virtual event to raise awareness about Orange Shirt Day is being hosted early on Sept. 22

Invermere gets new CAO

Invermere found his new CAO after a long period of research.

Radium council discusses short term rentals

RHS council are elaborating the second draft plan for STR

Farmers’ Institute report highlights emerging local food scene

Beef cattle ranching remains mainstay of valley agriculture

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Ahead of likely second wave, 60% of Canadians relaxing COVID-19 measures

Proportion of Canadians not following safety measures has dropped by 3 per cent in the past two weeks

Canada’s population tops 38 million, even as COVID-19 pandemic slows growth

Immigration, the top population driver, decreased due to the pandemic

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

Most Read