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Former NHLPA Union Worker Blows the Whistle on Alleged Fraud


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Ryan Hall
July 28, 2023  (11:48)
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Scandals seem to be rocking major organizations worldwide these days, whether they are governments or corporations.Such scandals cannot remain hidden and need to be discussed, including those within a union. Recently, the NHLPA (National Hockey League Players' Association) was hit with breaking news of a brewing scandal, involving an alleged defrauding of the union for over $100,000.

According to TSN reporter Rick Westhead, Allan Etherington, a former Technical Support analyst with the union, went on record stating that he was terminated because he refused to keep quiet about the actions of a former NHLPA employee who was suspected of defrauding the union. As a result, an $8.7 million lawsuit has been filed and is currently being discussed in court.
Etherington alleges in his claim that Stephen Frank, the NHLPA's former director of technology and security information technology, was allowed to resign from the NHLPA with then-executive director Don Fehr's good wishes in December of 2018

Frank's exit came after the union learned through investigations conducted by Ernst & Young and CGI Inc. that Frank had used his own outside company, GeekFork Inc., to misappropriate money through the purchase of expensive computer equipment, Etherington aalleges

Etherington's statement of claim alleges that he was resolving a print server issue with a colleague on Oct. 9, 2018, when they discovered an email chain between Frank and an executive with Darktrace, a U.K.-based cybersecurity company that signed an agreement with the NHLPA in March 2018 to provide the NHLPA with an artificial intelligence-powered product that helped protect confidential player information.
New documents filed in court include an affidavit sworn in Toronto on May 30 by NHLPA lawyer Roman Stoykewych.

Stoykewych wrote that he was provided in mid-October 2018 with a copy of emails between Frank and a salesperson at Darktrace.
Stoykewych wrote that the NHLPA hired lawyers from the Toronto firm McCarthy Tetrault LLP on Oct. 24, 2018, to provide legal advice about Frank's employment and the union's investigation of him.

«It was of utmost importance to the NHLPA that our investigation proceed in as confidential a manner as possible,» Stoykewych wrote. «As part of maintaining the confidentiality of our investigation, the number of NHLPA employees involved in it, or aware that it was ongoing, was kept to a minimum. In addition, internal discussions relating to it were held in person, or if that was not possible, over the telephone or by text message.»

The scandal underscores the unfortunate reality that even within a union, individuals are willing to defraud others to advance their interests.
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Former NHLPA Union Worker Blows the Whistle on Alleged Fraud

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