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Kilbride couple avoids fraud trial after wife changes plea to guilty

Scales of Justice
Scales of Justice

Leah and Doug Chaulk are accused of defrauding a local business over 13 years

A Kilbride couple that was scheduled to go to trial this week on charges of defrauding a business over 13 years have had a change of plans.
Leah and Doug Chaulk were represented by their lawyer, Jon Noonan, when their case was called in provincial court in St. John’s Monday morning. Monday was supposed to be the start of a five-day trial for the couple, but instead Noonan indicated Leah Chaulk had made a deal with the Crown and will be changing her pleas to guilty.
As part of the deal, the Crown won’t proceed on the charge Doug is facing.

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Kilbride couple charged with defrauding business over 13 years:

The Chaulks are both charged with defrauding Backyard Contractors between May 17, 2005 and July 21, 2016. The specific amount has not yet been disclosed in court, but it is in excess of $5,000.
As well, Leah is charged with another count of the same charge, this time between My 17, 2005 and August 15, 2016, as well as a charge of causing a North Atlantic employee to act upon a forged document as if it were genuine.

The document in question is an “island pass” credit card application, which, if granted, allows cardholders the ability to charge gas and access 24-pump service.
Leah is said to have been an employee of Backyard Contractors at the time of the alleged crimes.
The Chaulks were charged almost a year ago, but their case was delayed after their previous lawyer withdrew due to breakdown in client-solicitor relationship.

Noonan took the case over in April.
The case will be called again Thursday morning for a sentencing hearing.
The Chaulks have previously been known in the media for an unrelated reason. Three years ago they became vocal advocates for stroke awareness and supporters of the Newfoundland Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Tara.bradbury@thetelegram.com
Twitter: @tara_bradbury

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