RCMP investigating lacrosse association financial allegations

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The former president of the Okotoks Raiders Lacrosse Association said he called in an outside auditor and the RCMP after discovering money missing from the group’s bank account.

The Raiders posted a statement on the group’s Facebook page on Jan. 26 stating an investigation by the association concluded money described as misappropriated was traced to a former volunteer. The statement reads that the association was able to obtain a judgement, with the consent of the individual’s lawyer, stating the former volunteer owes the association $211,308.

Okotoks RCMP have confirmed to the Western Wheel that it is investigating the matter, but no charges have been laid at this time.

Former association president Ray Landymore said he blew the whistle on the situation after discovering suspicious activity in the association’s finances.

He was president of the association in 2016 and 2017 until the AGM in November.

Landymore said the association’s bylaws require an audit be held every two years. During his first year as president he said he called for an internal audit. Once Landymore discovered there was a problem with the association’s books, he said the board confronted the volunteer, hired an external auditor and reported it to RCMP in September 2017.

“The board members that are not under investigation right now were within our bylaws,” he said. “When our bylaws were read, we did what our bylaws asked us to do. We ran our audits, we did our checks and balances. The problem was, yes, there was money disappearing somewhere and we were able to catch it.”

Phone calls made to current association president Brad Banister were not returned by press time. In its statement on Facebook, the association said it will not discuss the situation further.

“Due to the circumstances which lead to ORLA obtaining that judgment, the Board and ORLA is not at liberty to make any further comment or provide any other information on the circumstances that led to ORLA obtaining that judgment. We wish to reaffirm that these matters should not have any impact on ORLA’s operations and the conduct of the 2018 season for our members. However, we think it is important for these updates to be provided to our membership to avoid any speculation or misinformation.”

Landymore said the situation left the board in a position where it had to borrow money from the Calgary District Lacrosse Association to repay its vendors. He would not say how much the association borrowed or how much it owed vendors.

Landymore said obtaining a loan was necessary to ensure the club remained in good standing to be able to operate this coming season.

“That was my main focus, was making sure that we rectify what was owed, what had to be done to close the season so we could reopen next season for the kids to pay,” he said.

Landymore said the association will be able to repay the loan without any impact on its operations.

Though he is no longer on the board, Landymore said he is still working with the association to ensure the season continues.

And, the 2018 season will go ahead as usual.

“Registration is open, the volunteer positions are full, we’re moving forward with registering kids and the winter camps are going on right now,” said Landymore.

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