KENTVILLE, NS - A Berwick man facing charges in relation to a New Minas car dealership being defrauded of $1.3 million has designated a North Sydney defence lawyer to represent him in court.
Orlando Anastasius Smith, 58, of Berwick, was not present in Kentville provincial court on Dec. 11 but his designation of legal counsel was filed. Court documents show that Smith has designated David Ianetti as his legal counsel in all court proceedings arising out of the charges Smith is currently facing, with authority to appear at proceedings without Smith being present, when Smith consents and when permitted by law.
The designation of counsel was signed and dated at North Sydney on Dec. 7. Smith’s matters have been adjourned to Jan. 24 for election and plea.
Along with Darren Bateman, 53, and Justin Darren Bateman, 30, both of Kentville, Smith is charged with possessing in excess of $5,000 knowing that the money was obtained by the commission of an offence and defrauding 3095480 Nova Scotia Limited, operating as Summit Hyundai, of in excess of $5,000. Smith is also charged with threatening to use violence against two justice system participants in order to provoke a state of fear and impede the administration of justice.
The Kentville men both signed papers in Halifax on Nov. 30 designating defence lawyer Joel Pink as their legal counsel in all court proceedings arising out of the charges they’re currently facing. The designation was filed with the court on Dec. 4. Their matters have also been adjourned to Jan. 24 for election and plea.
According to a news release issued by the RCMP in September, two men and one woman were arrested in Kentville, as well as one man and one woman in Berwick and one man in Canning, on Sept. 19.
The arrests followed a 16-month investigation led by the Nova Scotia RCMP Financial Crime Section, with assistance from the New Minas RCMP and the Kentville Police Service. The investigation was prompted after the owner of the car dealership reported the fraud. It’s alleged that the $1.3 million in question relates to 26 pre-owned vehicles.
The fraud relates to the former Summit Hyundai, not the current Bruce Hyundai dealership on Prospect Road in New Minas. Charges against the three co-accused have not been proven in court. It’s alleged that the offences were committed between Dec. 1, 2015, and Feb. 1, 2017.
- With files from Sara Ericsson