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Author Topic: Fringe Fraud Mystery
Performance Anxiety
Babbler # 3474

posted 08 January 2004 09:20 PM      Profile for Performance Anxiety        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Babblers, there is a mystery I am following. It is suspicious that the thief is "missing and presumed dead". I was wondering if anyone has any information on this case, or theories as to what happened in Edmonton. Cheers!

Fraud probe at Edmonton Fringe

April 23, 2001

Police are investigating an incident of fraud at the Edmonton Fringe Festival. Earlier this month, police charged two women after $110,000 went missing from the festival coffers. Nicole Ticknovich and an unnamed woman, charged under the Young Offenders Act, have been charged with fraud, theft, and uttering a forged document. They allegedly forged a fax requesting a transfer of funds from the Festival bank account to into the second woman's account. Ticknovich had been a volunteer with the festival.


Festival worker found guilty of stealing $110000 from Fringe [21 Oct 2003]

Nicole Ticknovich sent a fake fax from the Fringe Theatre Adventures Society office in January 2001, transferring money out of the society's account, Court of (Edmonton Journal, Canada) NOT ONLINE FIND

She acted trustworthy, and stole $110,000
Former Fringe administrator sentenced to three years in prison

Gordon Kent
The Edmonton Journal

Saturday, December 20, 2003

EDMONTON - The curtain came down on a former Edmonton theatre administrator Friday when a judge sentenced her to three years in prison for crimes that included stealing $110,000 from the Fringe Festival.

Nicole Ticknovich sat slumped in the prisoner's box as Court of Queen's Bench Justice Jack Watson declared nonprofit groups must be protected from such thefts.

"Having been an established person in the theatre trade, she decided to take advantage of those people with whom she had a friendly relationship."

Ticknovich was convicted in October of sending a phoney fax from the Fringe Theatre Adventures Society office transferring $110,000 out of the organization's bank account.

Using fake signatures from society officials, the transfer was made just days after the Fringe received a $210,000 grant from TransAlta to help run its massive annual theatre festival in Old Strathcona.

The stolen money was sent to another bank account. Most was withdrawn by a 17-year-old girl and paid to Theodore Pemberton, who later disappeared and is thought to have died.
In early February 2001, Ticknovich sent two more fake faxes to ATB Financial trying to transfer another $97,600 out of the Fringe account, but by then the society had been alerted and the money wasn't removed.

At the time Ticknovich, 34, was married to festival director David Cheoros. Their deteriorating relationship ended following the fraud, and he later left the organization.
From the late 1990s until at least 2001, Ticknovich's jobs included general manager of Northern Lights Theatre, assistant to the general manager of the Citadel Theatre and working in the Fringe cash office.

Crown prosecutor Sheila Brown called her "a primary actor" in the fraud, saying she betrayed people who trusted her.

"The victim in this is particularly vulnerable ... a community theatre group that has provided tremendous service to the city of Edmonton over the years," Brown said. "A fraud of this magnitude could have had a devastating effect on its ability to function. (Ticknovich) in particular should have known what a horrendous loss that kind of loss would be to a theatre company."

ATB returned the missing $110,000 to the Fringe society. Watson ordered Ticknovich to pay ATB compensation.

In a separate March 2001 scam, Ticknovich delivered a phoney document to the land titles office making it appear a house in east Edmonton had been sold to Pemberton by a couple who'd lived there since 1966.

Ticknovich and others tried to arrange a $100,000 mortgage on the home a few days later, but the deal looked suspicious to several mortgage brokers and one of them called police.
She was convicted of two counts of fraud, two counts of attempted fraud and uttering a forged document.

The heavy-set, silver-haired woman has already served the equivalent of one year of her sentence, either in custody or at a halfway house.
Fringe marketing manager Sheryl Mayko said later they were shocked by the crimes.

She described Ticknovich as "a really nice, friendly lady who liked to laugh ... she giggled a lot."

The fraud didn't cause the Fringe society any lasting problems or drive away sponsors, Mayko said.

"We were really disappointed that this type of thing happened ... it's such a small (arts) community to start with, to think that one of our own could do this."

The group, with a permanent staff of 12, grows to 250 workers during the 10-day August festival.
With this experience to learn from, it has put in place controls to ensure appropriate people are in money-handling positions, Mayko said.

"We're a little bit more wary and a little bit sad."

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Copyright 2003 Edmonton Journal


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