Jeff Heuchert, Stratford Gazette
Stratford businessman John-David (JD) Graham was released from police custody April 13 following a bail hearing at the Ontario Provincial Court.
Graham was arrested by Perth County OPP last Thursday after an extensive investigation into what police said were financial improprieties during his time as lending manager with the Perth Community Futures Development Corporation in Milverton (PCFDC).
He faces eight counts of fraud, all but one of which is for over $5,000.
Looking disheveled and tired, Graham sat in the prisoner’s box staring at the floor as the details of the charges were read aloud in the courtroom.
At the request of duty counsel Perry Hill, a strict publication ban has been put into effect, stopping media from reporting on any of the evidence or information shared during the hearing.
As a condition of his release, Graham, who runs the Ontario Street business P’Lovers Eco Lifestyle with his wife Susan, must abstain from contact with or entering the place of residence or work for a list of individuals who could be called as witnesses in a trial.
He must also report to police weekly, hand over his passport to police, adhere to a curfew and stay in the province.
Graham’s wife Susan and sister Tiffani Amato will act as the accused’s sureties. They are responsible for the $20,000 bond if Graham fails to meet his obligations.
These charges are the latest legal trouble to stem from Graham’s time with the PCFDC, a non-profit organization that provides business services and financing to encourage entrepreneurship and new economic opportunities.
In a civil lawsuit earlier this year, the Ontario Superior Court ordered Graham to pay back $763,168 to the PCFDC, which alleged its former employee had misappropriated more than $540,000.