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Charges amended in case against former Corner Brook Downtown Business Association executive

Nicole McKinnon
Nicole McKinnon
CORNER BROOK, N.L. —

After hearing additional summations in an ongoing fraud trial involving the former executive director of the Corner Brook Downtown Business Association, Judge Kymil Howe will make her decision in the case on Nov. 13.

Nicole McKinnon was charged with fraud under $5,000 and unauthorized use of credit card data in June 2019. At the same time, she was charged with multiple counts of defrauding her former employer of more than $63,000 between April and October 2018.

She received a 12-month conditional sentence in September 2019 on the charges related to defrauding the association.

The credit card she allegedly used in the remaining charges belonged to a former member of the association’s board.

McKinnon was not present when the matter was called Friday in provincial court in Corner Brook.

Howe had requested additional summations to reconcile the wording of the charges and the evidence more clearly.

On the fraud charge, Crown attorney Trina Simms said the Crown is not alleging there was an attempt to defraud, but instead that a fraud actually occurred when McKinnon used the card to take more money than she had been given verbal permission to take.

Simms said if the court finds the facts make out an actual fraud, then she is asking for a conviction.

“However, we are not alleging any attempted fraud. It was either completed or it was not.”

She said the decision the court has to make is with respect to whether or not McKinnon had permission to take the money.

She said the charge should be amended.

On the use of credit card data, the word "data" was omitted from the charge and should have read that she did fraudulently and without colour of right use credit card data.

McKinnon had access to the PIN on the credit card and used it to obtain funds, Simms said.

Simms said the PIN is the data that is being referred to and the charge should be amended.

Simms said, again, there is no question McKinnon used the PIN to obtain funds, and the question is whether she had permission to do so.

McKinnon’s lawyer, Courtney Mills, consented to amendments, and said she doesn’t think they will have any negative or prejudicial impact on her client.


Diane Crocker is a reporter covering the west coast of Newfoundland.

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