Almost one year after the investigation began, two adults from St. Anne, Manitoba are now facing charges for withholding funds from a virtual fundraiser.
In December of 2021, the Winnipeg Police Service's Financial Crime Unit began investigating allegations of missing funds (the proceeds of a charitable fundraiser organized by a Manitoba resident).
In January 2021, the organizer contacted the Children's Hospital Foundation of Manitoba (CHFM-victim), proposing the idea of a virtual fishing tournament fundraiser called the "Full Tilt Winter Walleye Tournament." The CHFM was led to believe that the net proceeds would be donated to their foundation.
The Foundation agreed and allowed the organizer to use their logo for advertising. The organizer secured numerous corporate sponsors who provided prizes to the event believing it was for a charitable cause. As a result, 492 registrations were received, resulting in $22,147.00 in entry fees being collected.
After the event, $9,118.00 of the raised funds was dispersed as prize money to participants. The Foundation never received the remaining funds, totalling $13,029.00.
Investigators determined that the organizer and a co-accused retained the remaining funds for their own financial gain.
Between October 20 and November 2, 2022, Heather NEUERT, a 39-year-old female and Christian Thomas Gord LILLYMAN, a 40-year-old male, both of St. Anne, MB, were charged with the following offences:
- Theft Over $5000.00
- Fraud Over $5000
- Laundering Proceeds of Crime
- Criminal Breach of Trust
Both were released on Undertakings as mandated by the Criminal Code.