TORONTO – Three former top executives of the Ontario Provincial Police Association (OPPA) have been found not guilty of fraud relating to their purchase of a travel agency almost five years after the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) originally laid charges. Among the three is former Little Current resident Martin Bain, who served as an OPP officer in Little Current for several years.
Mr. Bain, who now lives in Oro-Medonte, appeared in court alongside Karl Walsh of Bradford West Gwillimbury and James Christie of Midland. Mr. Christie was the OPPA president, Mr. Walsh, the union’s former chief administrative officer and Mr. Bain had been vice-president of the OPPA when they were charged with fraud, accused of using their high-ranking position to direct people to a travel agency they own. As well, a 2015 filed affidavit had listed allegations of suspicious financial transactions including the purchase of a condominium in the Bahamas and a $100,000 wire transfer to the Cayman Islands.
The court jury decision was reached on Wednesday, November 27 in Superior Court in Toronto.
Prosecutors in the case had alleged the three men defrauded the union by using OPP funds to help pay for their share of a travel agency, and then tried to conceal that they had done this.
Each of the men had been charged with fraud over $5,000.
Defence lawyer Louis Strezos, who represented Mr. Bain, told the Toronto Star in its November 28, 2019 edition that the verdict demonstrates that jurors believed the men, who had all testified in court that they bought the travel agency to benefit the OPPA’s 10,000 members, not to enrich themselves as alleged by the prosecution. He said the verdict confirms that the men are innocent, what they did was taken out of context, misunderstood and that they had the best interest of the OPPA.