Alleged $1.25 million fraud: Closing arguments in Gmerek case

March 26, 2018 7:54 am
Devin Wilger

Closing arguments were presented Friday, March 23 in the case of Gregor Gmerek, who is accused of fraud, forgery and uttering a forged document during his time as an employee at Prairie Livestock in Moosomin.

The closing arguments were presented in Yorkton Court of Queen’s Bench.

The total amount that Gmerek is accused of defrauding Prairie Livestock of is in excess of $1.25 million.

The defense’s argument in the case rested on whether or not Gmerek had authorization to alter documents and make off-the-books payments to himself and others at the business.

The defence argued that that Kirk Sinclair, owner of Prairie Livestock, had authorized several of the payments that are disputed, such as flowers for Gmerek’s father’s funeral.

The defence further argued that Sinclair had shown Gmerek how to handle speculative contracts, which was one of the areas where he is accused of defrauding the company.

The defence argued that a hands-on business owner would have fewer gaps in their knowledge about the financial operation of their business than Sinclair suggested in his testimony, and that he and Gmerek were in regular communication throughout Gmerek’s period of employment.

The prosecution argued that the defense’s position made little sense, that a business owner wouldn’t put his business at substantial risk, with over a million dollars tied up in contracts, just to allow an employee to make money. Further, they would not then hire someone to find the financial irregularities in the books if he knew exactly what was going on.

They also made the argument that fraud doesn’t require intent, but instead knowledge of a dishonest act being committed and whether or not the defendant knew it could put them at risk, and that they had achieved proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt for those requirements.

The prosecutor also argued that in his testimony, Gmerek confessed to a different crime in an attempt to appear innocent of the charges against him.

The prosecution argued that, if it was true that Gmerek was authorized to receive funds off the books, he would have been committing tax fraud.

Justice Janet McMurtry reserved her decision in the case until June 8.