Cyclist who claimed he was hurt by barbed wire charged with fraud, mischief

COCHRANE — Fraud and public mischief charges have been laid against a man who said he was severely injured by barbed wire that was strung across a mountain biking trail and then appealed for $8,000 in donations.

Stelianos Psaroudakis, 37, said he was clotheslined by barbed wire tied between two trees while he was cycling near the hamlet of Bragg Creek west of Calgary. He shared photos of a big red gash across his neck.

Psaroudakis also said he left his bike behind on the trail after the fall and it was gone when a friend went back to get it.

He started an online fundraising campaign to raise money for medical bills and a new bike. He raised $851 before taking it down after numerous complaints. GoFundMe says it has since banned him.

RCMP said Friday they received numerous tips from the public and from people that know Psaroudakis.

“As a result of all of the information that they provided us, we were able to determine that he had not hurt himself on the trail the way he claimed,” said RCMP Cpl. Curtis Peters.

“We found out that he had actually been involved in a collision with a barbed wire fence, but he was riding an ATV on private property of a friend nearby and that’s how he got the injuries,” Peters said.

“It had nothing to do with the trail system or with mountain biking at all.”

A warrant has been issued for his arrest. Peters said he spoke to Psaroudakis earlier Friday and he said he planned to turn himself in.

“I hope now that he understands that it’s time to just turn himself in and face the music and be done with this, put this whole thing behind him.”

Attempts to reach Psaroudakis were unsuccessful.

He has reportedly used GoFundMe in past fundraising campaigns, including for the Fort McMurray wildfire.

GoFundMe spokeswoman Rachel Hollis said Psaroudakis closed his campaign and all donors have been refunded. He’s been banned from any future fundraising.

“Campaigns with misuse are very rare, making up less than one tenth of one per cent of all campaigns,” she said in a statement.

“Along with a host of proactive measures to prevent misuse, we also have the ability to receive reports from users about potential fraudulent activity, as in this case.”

Just Posted

WATCH: A Russian new year party in Red Deer

Hundreds fill the G.H. Dawe Community Centre for the 10th Russian Children’s New Year Party

Car hits moose north of Red Deer, driver in hospital with life threatening injuries

One person was airlifted to hospital, and another taken by ambulance after… Continue reading

Red Deer’s Ten Thousand Villages to close in 2018

This will be the last Christmas for Red Deer’s Ten Thousand Villages.… Continue reading

Celestial light show can be seen over Red Deer this week

Local students stay up to watch the meteor shower

Businesses to gather to talk about crime

Red Deer Downtown Business Association understands challenges

Watch: Man plays flaming bagpipes while riding a unicycle in a ‘Star Wars’ costume

The sight of Darth Vader, riding a unicycle and playing flaming bagpipes,… Continue reading

Dying man’s wish to see new ‘Star Wars’ movie coming true

A dying man’s wish to see the new “Star Wars” movie is… Continue reading

Bountiful polygamist believed he couldn’t be prosecuted: lawyer

Winston Blackmore’s lawyer says Blackmore did not believe he could be prosecuted

Trudeaus, Mulroneys, Erdem? Canadians who could snag a royal wedding invite

Save the date. Kensington Palace announced Friday that Prince Harry and Meghan… Continue reading

More to be done to ensure timely justice, retiring Beverley McLachlin says

Canada’s retiring top judge says more must be done to ensure the… Continue reading

Labrador mayor who was shot in face in hunting accident has died

John Hickey accidently shot himself while checking rabbit snares

Shelter dogs could go vegan in Los Angeles

Los Angeles may soon be home to a lot more vegan dogs.… Continue reading

The coolest way to serve coffee at dinner’s end

I can put together a decent dinner party. But when it comes… Continue reading

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

One of the thousands of firefighters battling a series of wildfires across… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month