Well-dressed, well-known, not guilty: James Regan acquitted of assault, still facing fraud charges

Well-dressed, well-known, not guilty: James Regan acquitted of assault, still facing fraud charges

The well-dressed, well-known Toronto tenant James Regan was found not guilty of assaulting a former landlord, but his substantial legal troubles are far from over.

Regan was acquitted on the charge last September. Lawyer Michael Fairney, who represented him, recently informed CBC of the judge's decision. CBC Toronto has also confirmed with police that Regan is scheduled to go to trial on fraud charges next September.

Regan is alleged to have fraudulently lived rent-free in at least three high-end Toronto apartments since 2014, as CBC Toronto first reported in 2016.

The 64-year-old is also accused of schemes to get free cars and and furniture.

Described in media reports as a "society crasher" and Toronto's "classiest con man," Regan has allegedly talked his way into some of the city's most exclusive clubs and events.

But he spent much of 2017 behind bars.

2016 confrontation

On Sept. 24, 2016, the day after CBC Toronto first reported the allegations against Regan, his former landlord Lucy Chik confronted him about unpaid rent.

The confrontation led to an assault charge against Regan for allegedly punching and kicking Chik.

Fairney said after he brokered a plea deal Regan "insisted on going to trial to clear his name."

As he awaited trial, Regan was found guilty of breaching his bail conditions and spent six months in jail.

Fairney said the court found Regan attempted "indirect communication" with one of the witnesses in the case, another former landlord Robin Ennis.

Last September, after a one-day trial, Justice S. Ford Clements found Regan not guilty of assault.

"Mr. Regan, although a man with an awful reputation, is not a danger to anyone," Fairney said in a statement to CBC Toronto.

Fraud charges

Regan's next test will be the serious fraud allegations he's facing in relation to unpaid rent.

After a series of CBC Toronto stories about Regan living for free at multiple Toronto addresses, police charged him on August 23, 2017 with three counts of fraud over $5,000.

According to his lawyer, Regan intends to plead not guilty when the case goes to trial in September.