An ex-Winnipeg Blue Bomber has admitted to a slew of fraud and forgery charges relating to an bogus scheme to build a hotel and recreational facility.
David Lorne Pitcher, 46, pleaded guilty Tuesday to 17 total offences in which victims lost more than $5 million between 2007 and 2012. He will return to court next January for sentencing once a court-ordered report about his background is completed.
The Crown is expected to seek a significant custodial sentence given the large-scale nature of the crime.
Pitcher was arrested earlier this year by RCMP in British Columbia and returned to Winnipeg on the strength of a Canada-wide warrant.
Pitcher is also being sued by the victims in Court of Queen's Bench. He had filed a statement of defence in connection to that proceeding and denied wrongdoing.
He now admits to using forged government documents to scam millions of dollars in bridge financing from them through a company he owned called Community Endowment Funds Inc. Some of the forged documents were purporting to be written by Manitoba NDP minister Gord Mackintosh and John McBride, the head of federal Crown corporation PPP Canada.
The money was borrowed for the construction of a large recreational development known as the Flatland Cable Park, to be located on a 27.5-hectare swath of Fort Whyte. Pitcher convinced investors he had federal funding but also needed additional money to float the project. He then used the money for his own personal interests.
Pitcher is a former CFL slotback who played in the 1990s for the Blue Bombers along with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
-with files from James Turner