A U.S. fugitive accused of conning a Manitoba charity for children with cancer is expected to say his final farewell to Canada today.
Tyrell Cox, 33, is set to be deported back to Virginia to face the music on several outstanding charges. In exchange, Manitoba justice officials will drop the fraud and forgery case against Cox that began last year. By doing so, they expedite a process that could have dragged on for years.
Cox drew the attention of Winnipeg police for his alleged role in a December 2011 ice-fishing derby. Jim Bais, the treasurer of the Kids Fishing For a Cure event, said he was approached by Cox, who used the bogus name Ty Chartrand, wanting to volunteer.
Bais said the arrangement was for Chartrand to give him the $7,200 cheque once the event was over, but the money never came. Bais went to the police after he was presented with a deposit slip last year showing the funds had been given to CancerCare Manitoba, yet CancerCare had not received any money.
Cox was arrested last August in Winnipeg. It was then discovered Cox had been on the run for more than five years and was living illegally in Canada.
American court records show Cox was arrested in Virginia in April 2003 for online fraud. The crime involved calling a phone-sex line and paying using a credit card a customer had left behind at a store where he worked. He pleaded guilty in May 2004 and was given a three-year suspended sentence followed by probation, along with a $775 fine.
Cox was rearrested in April 2008 and charged with violating his probation. He was released on a promise to appear in court in May 2008, but never showed. Warrants have been outstanding since that date.
There are also several outstanding driving-related fines owed by Cox for offences in 2007 and 2008, according to court records.
"I can’t believe it. We were told he’d left the country but didn’t know where he was," Virginia officer Lisa Klein told the Free Press last fall when informed of Cox’s whereabouts. "I’d be more than happy to come to Manitoba to get him."
Cox will now be escorted by Canadian authorities into the custody of U.S. officials to deal with those outstanding charges.
Bais told the Free Press Thursday he’s disappointed Cox won’t have to answer for the criminal allegations here but is happy to hear he’s being given a one-way ticket out of town. Much of Bais’ faith in humanity has been restored by the fact people have donated more than $14,000 since news first broke about the scam.