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Ottawa Senators Dany Heatley and Chris Phillips at training camp, September 14, 2005. Police say Stacey McAlpine defrauded the players of $12-million.CHRIS WATTIE/Reuters

Winnipeg police have charged an ex-NHL agent with fraud alleging he bilked former Ottawa Senators Chris Phillips and Dany Heatley out of $12 million.

Stacey McAlpine, who is 54, is charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000, two counts of theft over $5,000 and laundering proceeds of crime.

Const. Tammy Skrabek said McAlpine was an agent and business adviser for both former players and the alleged fraud occurred between January 2004 and June 2011.

"During this time, the victims provided the accused with funds for the purposes of making investments on their behalf," Skrabek said. "The accused used these funds for personal business, disguising its true source."

Winnipeg police were called to investigate in 2013.

Both Heatley and Phillips have also sued McAlpine and McAlpine's parents, alleging money was being invested in unapproved real estate investments, including an Ottawa condominium. CTV Ottawa reported that McAlpine was the best man at Phillips's wedding.

Earlier this year, CTV Calgary reported that Heatley was awarded more than $6 million by an Alberta court.

Winnipeg police Det.-Sgt. Kathy Antymis said the civil proceedings and the criminal cases are two separate processes.

"The civil matter did not either add to or discourage the investigation," Antymis said.

Heatley, who now lives in Los Angeles, issued a statement through his Ottawa lawyer Peter Mantas.

"After years of pursuing this case, I am pleased that the Winnipeg police have also become involved and made this arrest," he said.

Heatley broke into the NHL with the Atlanta Thrashers in 2001 as a winger. He spent four seasons with the Senators before stints with San Jose, Minnesota and Anaheim. He played 869 games, scoring 372 goals and 791 points.

Phillips, a defenceman, spent his entire NHL career with the Senators playing 1,179 games and amassing 288 points.

Mike Sullivan, the coach of the Stanley Cup-winning Pittsburgh Penguins, insisted his team's visit to the White House Tuesday was 'not political,' adding that he wouldn't mind if one of his players took a knee during the national anthem.

The Associated Press

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