Date set for new trial in million-dollar Ontario credit union fraud case

The long-running case against a former manager accused of defrauding a Belleville, Ont., credit union of more than a million dollars took a small step forward on Nov. 22 when a date for a new trial was set nine months in the future.

Cheryl Drumm, 50, appeared in Superior Court of Justice and was ordered to appear Aug. 24 for a trial that’s expected to last two weeks.

Drumm appeared in court without a lawyer, since her previous lawyer resigned Oct. 10 when a sentencing hearing collapsed. Justice Wolf Tausendfreun told Drumm she must appear on Aug. 24, with or without a lawyer. He also warned her that any lawyer she retains must be ready to start the trial on that date.

The case has been delayed and adjourned more than 15 times to accommodate Drumm since charges were laid in 2016. A trial in June was halted after two days when she decided to plead guilty. But when interviewed for a pre-sentence report, Drumm denied responsibility for the fraud, so on Oct. 10 Justice Robert Scott rejected a plea deal and ordered a new trial.

In October 2015 Bayshore Credit Union alerted police that it believed money was missing from its accounts. It was determined that $1.067-million was stolen between January, 2010 and June, 2015. Charges were laid in May 2016 against Drumm, George Misuraca and Allan Lasher. Misuraca and Lasher are repaying the credit union’s insurance company.

Lasher also appeared in court on Nov. 22 and his lawyer, Edward Kafka, said Lasher only has one payment left to complete full restitution. “We are on the cusp of a final payment,” he told the judge.

Crown Attorney Lee Burgess said the charges against Lasher will be withdrawn once that occurs. Lasher was ordered to appear Feb. 12 for that to happen.

Bayshore has since become part of Quinte First Credit Union which has three branches and six ATMs in the Quinte area. At the end of 2017 it had assets of $207 million.

Drumm told Trausendfreund she had agreed to be tried by a judge alone.

Freelance journalist.

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