Daniel Bard fired by charity before 3+ Corporation hiring

Daniel Bard, the Moncton man at the centre of a money scandal, was let go from a charity for failing to raise funds, before being hired by the government-funded 3+ Corporation, where he allegedly used his position to get money from clients through a side business.

Some of these clients are now suing to try to recoup their losses, and at least one couple have gone to the RCMP, who are now investigating Bard for breach of trust.

Before he was with 3+, an economic development agency, Bard worked for a year as executive director of the Petitcodiac Riverkeeper.

Paul Belliveau, former president of its board of directors, was on the selection committee that hired Bard in 2015, a process that took six months.

At first, Bard seemed a perfect fit. He appeared to be a successful businessman, who would help the group secure funds for projects to help restore the river. He told the committee he had expertise in environmental business development. 

The references he gave checked out, and in October of that year, he was brought on board. 

CBC

A posting announcing the hire even described him as "an entrepreneur, investor and incubator of successful businesses" with a "distinguished track record across several business sectors."

But soon, it became clear that Bard, who was the organization's only paid employee, wasn't accomplishing what he was hired to do: raise funds.

"He was indicating some fairly large amounts of money, and we quickly were of the opinion that he might have been going too fast to the moon," said Paul Belliveau, who was chair of the board while Bard worked there.

People were looking for him for some money. - Paul Belliveau, former employer

"That seemed to be his focus, that he wanted to — as the expression goes — go big or stay home."

And it seems that Bard did indeed stay home.

In his year with the organization, he raised less than $30,000 toward projects that were already underway when he joined.

The charity, which runs on a small budget, had hoped Bard would help raise somewhere between $160,000 and 200,000.

And so in 2016, a decision was made to let him go.

"We were running out of money as an organization," said Belliveau.

High-energy

Belliveau said Bard was likable and easy to get along with but also difficult to get a commitment from.

"I can probably describe him as being extremely high-energy, something that the board thought was an attractive feature to have, someone who was passionate."

"He certainly was well-researched when he came to meet with us, he knew quite a bit about the organization, and he projected really a genuine interest to further the work of the agency."

Petitcodiac Riverkeeper

It was only after Bard left that Belliveau got wind that he may not have known the whole truth about his former employee.

"I was getting phone calls of people who he had done business with — not in the name of the Riverkeeper, but his personal name — and people were looking for him for some money," he said.

Search continues

Meanwhile, the search for Bard continues.

Christian Michaud, a lawyer representing some of the victims who together lost between $2 million and $5 million to Bard, believes the man could still be out of the country. 

"If I were the RCMP, I would stop him in a flash," Michaud said. "With the evidence that we have today."

The RCMP began investigating in August, after it received a complaint, but no charges have been laid yet.

Bard has not responded to any of the calls from CBC News and is no longer at any of the addresses that were registered under his name in the city.