Joe Fontana admits changing info on receipt

London Mayor Joe Fontana listens to police chief Brad Duncan during a meeting of council's...

London Mayor Joe Fontana listens to police chief Brad Duncan during a meeting of council's corporate services committee at City Hall in London, Ontario on Tuesday April 8, 2014. (CRAIG GLOVER/QMI Agency file photo)

Jane Sims, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:25 AM ET

LONDON, Ont. — Mayor Joe Fontana admits he made changes to the receipt he used to get a $1,700 taxpayer reimbursement for what the Crown alleges was a wedding reception for his son.

The number that kept coming up at the beginning of Fontana's fraud trial is 2661.

That was the number on the Marconi Club contract signed by Fontana’s wife for their son’s wedding in October 2004. Fontana was a Liberal MP and cabinet minister at the time.

Another document with the same number, 2661, showed up at Joe Fontana’s Ottawa office in March 2005 — but this one had been changed.

Fontana's lawyer told the court his client changed a signature, dates and the word “wedding” for “reception” and submitted it to the federal government as an expense.

Defence lawyer Gordon Cudmore said the issue is what the $1,700 was used for and he told court it had “nothing whatsoever to do with the wedding.”

Fontana, 64, pleaded not guilty to three charges — breach of trust by a public official, fraud under $5,000 and uttering forged documents.

In an opening statement, assistant Crown attorney Tim Zuber told Judge Bruce Thomas that Fontana deposited $1,700 with the Italian club when they signed the three-paper carbon contact in October 2004.


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