Former Moncton economic development executive pleads not guilty to fraud, theft

Daniel Bard faces 19 charges and has elected to be tried in provincial court. (Daniel St Louis/3+/Facebook - image credit)
Daniel Bard faces 19 charges and has elected to be tried in provincial court. (Daniel St Louis/3+/Facebook - image credit)

A former executive of a Moncton economic development agency has pleaded not guilty to charges alleging fraud, theft, possession of property obtained by crime and money laundering.

Daniel Bard, 58, was vice-president of investment attraction for 3+ Corporation, a municipally funded agency, between 2016 and 2018.

In 2019, CBC reported that 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 agency but failing to deliver on the promises, then vanishing.

Bard was arrested in Edmundston in May and charges were laid in July.

Not in court

Bard wasn't present in Moncton provincial court Tuesday to enter the pleas, but was represented by lawyer Emily Cochrane. Cochrane was appearing for lawyer T.J. Burke, who Bard has hired to represent him.

Cochrane elected for Bard to be tried in provincial court, meaning the trial will be held by a judge alone.

She requested more time to speak to Crown prosecutor Chris Ryan about potential trial dates.

The case is scheduled to return to Moncton court on Dec. 15, when trial dates will be set.

The charges allege he defrauded five companies of more than $5,000, attempted to defraud another company, and stole from six companies.

The charges also allege he had a Dieppe house, an Audi A4 and four Harley-Davidson motorcycles that were obtained with the proceeds of a crime.

He faces one count of money laundering the proceeds of crime.

All of the charges allege the crimes happened between January 2016 and Dec. 31, 2020.

Bard is not in custody. Court documents indicate he is living in the Saint-Basile area of Edmundston.