A Hockey Player, A Tax Refund, Two Thefts, and Fraud

Saku Koivu is a center for the Anaheim Ducks (they won in Minnesota last night,) and is a resident of Quebec. In September 2009 he received a tax refund of $140,899.04 from Quebec (Mr. Koivu used to play for the Montreal Canadiens). And that’s where the fun begins.

Someone stole that check from Mr. Koivu. That’s the first theft. That thief is unknown.

The person who stole the check goes to Go-Remit, a check cashing business in Côte-des-Neiges, Quebec. The former owner, David Nowak, thinks he’s dealing with an authorized agent of Mr. Koivu (the thief also has identity documents) and will cash the check. But he doesn’t keep $135,000 in his store, so he uses a third-party vendor to get the funds. He picks them up, and keeps them in a paper bag under the back seat of his car.

You’re a step ahead of me, right? Someone stole the bag containing the $135,000. That thief, too, hasn’t been found.

Meanwhile, what is Mr. Nowak to do? He decides to take small amounts from some of his clients to make up the $135,000.

Mr. Nowak’s fraud is discovered by the police after some of his clients think something is wrong. Mr. Nowak pleads guilty but gets a very lenient sentence of time served due to the unusual circumstances of the crime. He also is on probation for two years.

And I’ve only summarized the twists and turns of fate that move through this story.

News Story: La Presse (French)
Summary: Puck Daddy


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