Gallery owner facing extradition to U.S. 

Dave Helfrich, owner of Whistler's high profile Plaza Galleries, was in Supreme Court in Vancouver this week fighting extradition to the United States.

According to Lyse Cantin at the federal Justice Department, Helfrich is wanted by the State of California for failing to show up at his sentencing.

"(He is) wanted in the United Sates by the State of California having plead no contest (not guilty) on insurance fraud on Oct. 21 1994," she said.

Helfrich is not in custody.

In order to be extradited the court must consider whether his acts in the U.S. would have been criminal in Canada and whether they are punishable here.

If that is the case then it is likely the court would rule Helfrich should be deported. Once the court has ruled the decision is in the hands of the Minister if Immigration, who has the final say on whether a fugitive is deported.

Helfrich can appeal at each level of decision making all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.

According to the Plaza Galleries' Web site the alternate contact for the gallery is Anne Marie Little.

"(This has) no effect whatsoever," said Little referring to the operations of the gallery.

"I have no other comments."


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