On Oct. 23, 2014, the Taber Police Service received a complaint of theft and possible fraud with respect to the operations at the Oilmen’s Club in Taber, Alta. After a lengthy investigation, police determined that close to $500,000 was allegedly misappropriated.
“The hardest thing for me was accepting that a person that was my best friend, that I trusted like my own brother would do that to me,” Darcy Hertz, Oilmen’s club owner, said.
It has been nearly two years since Hertz discovered that his friend and business manager allegedly stole close to half a million dollars from his bar.
“The sad thing is that’s my girls’ inheritance, my retirement,” Hertz said. “At 57 years of age I have to start over again.”
On Aug. 12, 45-year-old Scott Blanchard, the former manager of the Oilmen’s Club, was charged with one count of theft over $5,000 and one count of fraud over $5,000.
According to Hertz, his former employee and best friend gained access to his finances seven years ago after he was left struggling to balance business and family life.
“I said, ‘Scott can you please look after the company so I can look after my kids?’” Hertz said. “It was at that point that I gave him signing authority for the company.”
After not receiving a financial statement in over four months, Hertz said he confronted Blanchard. The next day, Hertz said Blanchard was gone, his office was cleared out.
“He left a note saying he no longer works for me, and he doesn’t want me to contact him,” Hertz said. “He actually said I’m a pretty smart guy, I’ll figure it out.”
Taber police issued the following statement:
“This complaint involved numerous hours of investigation, many judicial orders, and consultation with special prosecutions in Calgary, AB.”
Hertz said the charges provide him and his family a sense of relief.
Blanchard has been released and will appear in Taber Provincial Court on Aug. 30, 2016.