Lottery charges against two Maple Ridge women dropped

New information leads Crown to stay proceedings

Two Maple Ridge women charged in 2017 with illegally conducting a lottery or game of chance had their charges stayed in Port Coquitlam provincial court.

Chrystal Lee Lyons, born in 1973, had been facing four such charges, while Esther Ayshia Vandenbrink, born in 1962, had been charged with one count.

According to B.C. prosecution service spokesperson Dan McLaughlin, the decision to stay the charges in May was made after further information was received by the Crown prosecutor.

Read more: Maple Ridge women face charges linked to ‘cloud gifting’ pyramid theme

“After reviewing this information, and the rest of the file materials, the prosecutor concluded the charge-approval standard could no longer be met. In these circumstances, a stay of proceedings is the appropriate course of action,” McLaughlin said Thursday.

The standard requires that there be a substantial likelihood of conviction.

The charges were connected to a “cloud gifting” scheme, according to a Coquitlam RCMP press release in July 2018.

Police said then that typically, new members must pay a gift fee of between $1,000 and $5,000, to join the group, after being invited by friends and acquaintances.

New members are then required to recruit more people until they reach the top of the pyramid and share in a $40,000 birthday gift payoff, police said.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

LETTER: Pendulum swinging too far the other way on ‘The Clan’

Writer critical of licence plate stalking and efforts to rename SFU sport teams

LETTER: Border crossings need to step up their game

Due to COVID numbers south of the 49th Parallel, how and why are U.S. residents allowed north

VIDEO: Co-habitating with bears

Maple Ridge is home to a large bear population, and there are tips available to help avoid conflict

TIME IS RUNNING OUT: Readers invited to share wildlife photographs

Aim, snap, shoot, and share your pictures of wildlife in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to win!

LETTER: All Washington plate owners can’t be Canadian residents

A Maple Ridge man questions presence of U.S. vehicles in the Canada, despite closed borders

Man charged in Rideau Hall crash had rifle, shotguns, high-capacity magazine: RCMP

Hurren is accused of threatening to cause death or bodily harm to the prime minister

B.C. extends income assistance exemption for COVID-19

Provincial program to match Ottawa’s CERB, student pay

Broadway veteran Nick Cordero dies from coronavirus complications

During Cordero’s hospitalization, Kloots sent him daily videos of her and their 1-year-old son, Elvis,

Northern communities welcome tourists as province opens to in-B.C. travellers

Officials have asked British Columbians to be careful as they travel this summer

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

Most Read