Ex-couple back in court in Imagine Adoption fraud case

Relates to:
Date: 2013-09-05
Source: therecord.com

By Brian Caldwell

KITCHENER — A former couple accused of defrauding an international adoption agency attended court Wednesday for a pre-trial motion.

Rick and Susan Hayhow, who have been committed to stand trial on eight fraud-related counts, sat on opposite sides of a Kitchener courtroom as the two-day hearing began.

Details of the motion — even its general nature and purpose — can't be reported after Justice Peter Hambly ordered a publication ban to protect their right to a fair trial.

The Hayhows were charged in April 2011 following an 18-month police investigation into hundreds of thousands of dollars in suspect expenses at Imagine Adoption from 2007 to 2009.

Included were family vacations, high-end clothing, home renovations, cosmetic dental surgery, and a horse and saddle.

The police investigation came after the Cambridge-based agency collapsed in July 2009, leaving more than 400 adoptive families across Canada in limbo.

Imagine Adoption went bankrupt amid a scandal involving Susan Hayhow's affair with Andrew Morrow, a key employee whose wife also worked there.

Susan Hayhow, now 47, was executive director of the agency, which primarily facilitated adoptions from Ethiopia. She has since married Morrow.

Rick Hayhow, now 48, was chief financial officer before leaving the four-year-old agency with a year of severance pay in the wake of the scandal.

A scheduled Superior Court jury trial was delayed by the pre-trial motion. A new date for the trial, if it goes ahead, has not been set.

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