Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Police officer accused of scamming car buyers, Transport Canada

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More details have emerged in the fraud case against a veteran Winnipeg police officer.

Sgt. Richard Sierhuis, 47, who once worked with the Winnipeg Police Service's internal affairs, was arrested last month following an investigation by the WPS's professional standards unit -- a.k.a. internal affairs -- that started last fall.

Police released only limited information about the case on Wednesday as Sierhuis made his first court appearance. The Free Press has now obtained court documents which provide further insight into the allegations.

Sierhuis is accused of passing off a 2006 Volvo as a 2010 model during an attempted transaction. That alleged offence occurred in September 2012 and led to a charge of "passing wares or services" being laid.

Sierhuis is also accused of scamming five named complainants along with Transport Canada in offences which are alleged to have occurred between June 2012 and November 2012. He is facing a total of seven counts of fraud over $5,000 related to those incidents.

Several of the charges also involve a youth co-accused, who is also facing a handful of charges on his own which date back to 2011. The man, who is now 19 and works as a "car salesman" according to court documents, cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

The professional standards unit is responsible for managing complaints against members of the Winnipeg Police Service, including complaints about employee conduct. Police said the alleged offences involving Sierhuis were from "off-duty conduct."

Sierhuis was released on a promise to appear and is on administrative leave until the police service determines his employment status.

A car enthusiast, Sierhuis was featured in a story in the Free Press Autos section in February 2012, which described how he grew up as one of 13 soccer-playing kids in his family. The article detailed his restoration of a 1969 Chevelle SS 396 that he bought a decade ago because he and his wife were expecting and needed a bigger vehicle.

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