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Former Corner Brook Downtown Business Association exec admits to fraud charges

Nicole McKinnon, former executive director of the Corner Brook Downtown business association is seen entering a provincial courtroom in Corner Brook on Wednesday, July 31. - Diane Crocker/The Western Star
Nicole McKinnon, former executive director of the Corner Brook Downtown business association is seen entering a provincial courtroom in Corner Brook in this photo from Wednesday, July 31, 2019 photo. - File photo
CORNER BROOK, N.L. —

The former executive director of the Corner Brook Downtown Business Association has admitted her guilt in defrauding the association of over $62,500.

Nicole McKinnon entered guilty pleas to 14 counts of defrauding the association during an appearance in provincial court in Corner Brook on Wednesday, Aug. 14.

The incidents occurred between July and November 2018 and according to court documents totalled $62,557.24.

During the appearance, Crown attorney Lori St. Croix indicated that the Crown and defence had not come to an agreement on the facts in the matter and requested the court set a Gardiner Hearing to deal with that. That hearing will take place on Oct. 16.

The association suspended its operations last October and in late November went public with that information siting a financial issue had been discovered and was under investigation by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary. 

McKinnon was charged in June.

Former Corner Brook Downtown Business Association executive director charged with defrauding money

Former Corner Brook Downtown Business Association exec. director arrested again

She was also charged with break, enter and theft from the association office, possession of stolen property, cheques belonging to the association, defrauding the association of an amount less than $5,000 and single counts of fraud against an individual and fraudulent use of a personal credit card.

She didn’t enter pleas on the three charges related to the association and they have been set to Oct. 16 for a plea.

McKinnon entered not guilty pleas to the charges of fraud against an individual and fraudulent use of a personal credit card. Court documents indicate the credit card belonged to a member of the association’s volunteer board.

She’ll go to trial on those charges on Oct. 25.

McKinnon’s legal troubles are not limited to her involvement with the association.

Late last month she was arrested on charges of theft and breach of an undertaking. After being released on Aug. 2 she was arrested less than 24 hours later for two more breaches of an undertaking and another theft.

She plead guilty to a theft from Wal-Mart that was said to have occurred on July 24 and to two breaches of a court order from July 29 and Aug. 3. Those will be dealt with in terms of sentencing on Oct. 16.

The third breach of a court order was conditionally withdrawn.

The three outstanding theft charges will also be called on Oct. 16.

McKinnon was released pending her next court appearance on very strict conditions, including that she reside with one of her sureties under house arrest. She is not allowed outside the residence except to attend court, for medical or dental appointments for her or her children, to attend counselling, to go to work, church or school. She can only be outside if in the presence of one of her sureties, one of whom pledged $5,000 to the court and the other $1,000.

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