A bank has been given more time in a lawsuit seeking repayment of more than $15,000 in credit card debt from a former Moncton area economic development agency vice-president at the centre of fraud and theft allegations.
Daniel Bard has faced a series of civil lawsuits in recent years and this month 19 charges of fraud, theft, possession of property obtained by crime and money laundering were laid. The RCMP allege the "financial irregularities" amount to more than $1 million.
Bard, 57, was vice-president of investment attraction for 3+ Corporation between 2016 and 2018.
In 2019, CBC News reported Bard was accused by several business owners and individuals of receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in administrative and brokerage fees while working for the municipally funded agency but failing to deliver on promises and then vanishing.
The Royal Bank of Canada is among those seeking money from Bard. The bank sued Bard in Moncton small claims court in January 2020.
Bank unable to locate Bard
The bank is seeking repayment of credit card debt of $15,172 and an overdraft of $660. It is also claiming the interest accrued since December 2019, at the rate of 24.99 per cent and 22 per cent respectively per year.
"Defendant has so far refused to pay," the court documents say about Bard.
The total the bank is seeking is at the maximum $20,000 that can be claimed in small claims court.
The court documents in the case say Royal Bank the attempted to have a copy of the claim delivered to Bard, as it is required to do. However, it was unable to locate him.
One attempt was made in September 2020 at Bard's last known residential address in Dieppe, a home that was already foreclosed by the bank in 2018. A criminal charge against Bard alleges the house was obtained with the proceeds of crime.
In February this year, the bank's lawyers hired a firm specializing in finding people for legal proceedings.
A person called a number previously associated with Bard, but in a statement filed in court, the person says she spoke with an elderly woman in Edmundston, who said she wasn't sure where Bard was located.
Weeks later, Bard was arrested in Edmundston. He was released by police with a condition to appear in Moncton court on July 6 when charges were laid. However, a lawyer made the appearance on Bard's behalf. That criminal case returns to court Sept. 23.
"We intend to fully defend him and make the Crown prove each and every essential element of the charges against him," defence lawyer T.J. Burke told CBC earlier this month. Radio-Canada asked Burke for comment about the bank case but has yet to receive a response.
The bank, unable to serve notice of the case to Bard, applied this year for an extension of time to be able to serve him.
It seeks permission to provide notice through an ad in the Telegraph-Journal newspaper.
A hearing was held in Moncton last Friday. Small Claims Court arbitrator Lucie LaBoissonnière approved the bank's request in a decision issued Tuesday obtained by Radio-Canada
LaBoissonnière gives the bank until Jan. 25, 2023, to publish the ad. From that time, Bard will have 60 days to respond to the bank's claim.