Update: Businessman charged in spending scandal has prior fraud conviction

Rob Antle
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The businessman police have charged with defrauding the provincial legislature was actually on probation for defrauding the federal government when the alleged crimes began.
Police recently charged John William Hand, 68, with fraud over $5,000, frauds on the government and breach of probation in conjunction with the House of Assembly spending scandal.
Hand is linked to three companies Auditor General John Noseworthy reported as receiving $2.7 million in questionable payments from the legislature.
Royal Newfoundland Constabulary investigators arrested Hand last week.
He was released to appear in court on Dec. 16.
According to the RNC, Hand is owner/operator of Zodiac Agencies, and is associated with Cedar Scents International and JAS Enterprises.
In a report issued three years ago, the auditor general questioned the legitimacy of nearly $2.7 million in payments made to those three companies by the House of Assembly.
The AG said the payments were for "low value novelty items such as lapel pins, fridge magnets and key chains."
Hand's alleged fraud against the House took place between April 2002 and March 2006, according to court filings.
Just 10 months before those alleged crimes began, in June 2001, Hand admitted to submitting false invoices worth more than $75,000 to the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).
He pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud over $1,000, and received a conditional sentence of 7-1/2 months, along with two years probation.
For more, see Friday's print edition of The Telegram.

Organizations: Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Cedar Scents International, JAS Enterprises

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