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Former Pastor And Two Others Charged With Fraud

A retired pastor from Prince Edward Island and two others accused of fraud have been found guilty on 12 of 15 charges they were facing. Harold Alan Stewart and co-accused Alexsander Budimirivoc and Ashley Carlson were accused of defrauding an elderly widow from Oshawa out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Court heard that the victim, in her nineties and suffering from dementia, was duped into taking out a substantial line of credit using her mortgage-free home as security, and handing the funds over to the two men. Other charges were laid in connection with alleged fraudulent use of the woman's credit card, but said he was acting on the direction of Budimirovic, a recovering drug addict with whom he had partnered to build an addiction treatment centre in Scugog. Stewart acknowledged receipt of a cheque from the woman amounting to over $138,000. Prior to the verdict, Stewart's lawyer had called for an acquittal.