By Delon Schurtz
Southern Alberta Newspapers – Lethbridge
A southern Alberta man accused of defrauding a Taber agriculture business of over $800,000 is taking his case to trial.
During a brief hearing in Taber provincial court Tuesday, an agent for the defence pleaded not guilty on behalf of the accused, Scott James Piggott, who is charged with fraud over $5,000, theft over $5,000 and false pretenses over $5,000.
The accused, who previously had a bail hearing and was released from custody, did not attend Tuesday’s court hearing.
However, the agent elected trial by Court of Queen’s Bench judge and jury, with a preliminary hearing.
A preliminary hearing is generally held to determine whether there is enough evidence to warrant a trial.
Court was told counsel also needs three weeks in which to schedule a pre-trial conference, and the matter was adjourned to Feb. 23, when a date for the week-long preliminary hearing may be set.
A Taber business was the victim of a scam between March and July 2013 in which hay was obtained but no money paid.
Taber police reported the business was defrauded of more than $800,000.
Police reviewed a “massive” amount of data and obtained information from several companies in Canada and the United States during the investigation.