‘Unjustified failure’ by Peel Police delays trial against former CAS employee charged with defrauding agency 
(Alexis Wright/The Pointer Files) 

‘Unjustified failure’ by Peel Police delays trial against former CAS employee charged with defrauding agency 

The trial for a former Peel Children’s Aid Society (CAS) employee charged with swindling the organization of approximately $180,000 was delayed again on Monday after the court learned there have been further slowdowns due to Peel Regional Police failing to provide necessary disclosure in a timely manner, preventing the case from moving forward.

According to the Crown Attorney in the case, critical evidence—some of which has been in the hands of PRP since at least the summer of 2022—was only recently received on a hard drive from Peel Police “containing voluminous disclosure.”

“More specifics regarding the contents of the newly provided disclosure is set out in the Crown's notice of application, but it is enough to say that it's voluminous material disclosure,” Justice Iona Jaffe told the courtroom on Monday. “This is not the first time the Crown has sought an adjournment of the trial date on the basis of late-breaking disclosure.”

The adjournment is the latest in the ongoing legal saga previously involving two former Peel CAS employees charged in a “purchase and reimbursement scheme”. The allegations stem from an internal investigation conducted by Peel CAS in early 2022 which found former director of finance Marino Cader allegedly misused funds under his control. A criminal investigation conducted by Peel Police at the request of the organization resulted in Andre Paul, a former maintenance coordinator with Peel CAS, being charged alongside Cader. The charges against Paul were later withdrawn. 

This is the second time the trial date for the case against Cader has been postponed due to the failure of Peel Police to provide additional disclosure when it should have been brought forward. The April 15 court appearance date came after the case was adjourned in January when, a week before trial, Peel Regional Police again provided the Crown with a substantial wave of disclosure that had not been handed over previously, the Crown revealed Monday.

In his submissions, Cader’s lawyer Jonathan Shime explained that the latest set of disclosures included 5,000 pages of documents and 18 videotaped interviews conducted by the accounting firm that audited Peel CAS in the spring of 2022, one of which included Cader. Shime said that all of the disclosure has presumably been in the hands of the police since the summer of 2022, but had not been given to the Crown until right before the January trial date. 

It was also revealed on Monday that the lead officer in the Peel Police investigation against Cader recorded no notes between July and September 2022 (the first three months of the investigation against the former finance director) and the notes that were taken are sparse, consisting of only eight pages between October and November 2022 leading up to when the charges were laid. Shime confirmed Monday that only three of these pages were received in February 2023, with the remaining five provided to him only a day before the April 15 court appearance. It was also revealed that in October 2022, Peel Police conducted five or six interviews with critical witnesses, all of whom were employed at Peel CAS, and that the Crown was only made aware of this in the last month. 

“The Crown is now requesting another adjournment for essentially the same reasons — an unexplained facially unjustified failure of the police to provide material disclosure to the Crown,” Justice Jaffe stated. “The police decide when to charge an individual and in a case such as this where there's no imminent threat to a person's safety, they should do so with some confidence that it can fulfill its disclosure obligations in a timely way. It does not appear that was done in this case.”

Jaffe continued: “These are serious allegations involving a state agency whose mandate is to protect the most vulnerable amongst us: children. Allegations that someone abused a position of trust within that agency should be dealt with in court and there's a keen public interest in resolving such merit matters on their merits.”

The Justice determined on Monday it would be unreasonable to expect Cader’s legal counsel to be ready to fully defend him “given the wealth and nature of the disclosure.” Jaffe granted the adjournment, but said it should not be seen as “condoning the manner by which disclosure has been made,” and that the fault does not lie with the Crown but with the investigators at Peel Police.

Peel Regional Police did not respond to a request for comment.  

Jaffe also said the Crown has made “commendable efforts” in bringing the matter forward from the original trial date in September, but were “thwarted” by the two late “substantial waves of disclosure” that pushed the previous trial dates in January and now April 15th. Cader’s case will return to Brampton court on May 3 to be spoken to. A new trial date has not been set.



The organization, meant to provide a critical service to the Region’s most vulnerable, has been at the center of strife and controversy over the last several years.

(Alexis Wright/The Pointer Files) 


As Cader’s case faces yet another delay in heading to trial, the charges against Paul, the co-accused in the case, were abandoned in December at the request of the Crown Attorney. 

“The scope of the involvement by Mr. Paul was alleged to be significantly less than Mr. Cader, who held a leadership role and was a superior to Mr. Paul,” a spokesperson for the Crown’s Office stated. 

At the time, they confirmed Paul “has provided restitution in full to the Children’s Aid Society for the portion of the fraud he was alleged to be involved in,” and determined “there is no public interest in continuing the prosecution.”

The arrests were the culmination of nearly two years of internal strife at the agency meant to serve the population’s most vulnerable. During that time several alarming allegations surfaced in a report commissioned by the Province that found the organization's workplace environment was “seriously troubled” — a statement that was further highlighted in a third-party investigation that revealed financial mismanagement of taxpayer funds and disturbing examples of a deeply-rooted, dysfunctional culture within the organization. The Pointer learned Monday this investigation report is a primary piece of evidence in the case against the former finance director.

After the findings of the internal investigation were given to the organization, Cader was placed on leave in February 2022 and was later fired in May of the same year. Following an investigation by Peel Police, Cader and Paul were arrested and charged in November that same year. The investigation resulted in allegations that the pair worked together to defraud the CAS of more than $250,000 as part of a “purchase and reimbursement scheme” — one of the most common forms of criminal activity against businesses where an employee typically claims expenses that were never in fact incurred, were for personal use, or have been inflated beyond what was actually spent. As a result, Cader has been charged with seven counts of fraud over $5,000 and five counts of uttering a false document. Paul was charged with three counts of uttering a false document, but the charges against him were dropped in December. 

The allegations against Cader have not been proven in court. The Crown Attorney stated on Monday in its latest estimates that Cader is now anticipated to have allegedly defrauded the organization of approximately $180,000.

In response to the fraud charges against him, Cader filed a lawsuit against Peel CAS alleging he was wrongfully dismissed in May 2022 as “a scapegoat” and pointed the finger at the controversial former CEO Rav Bains, who left the organization at the end of 2022, after being placed on administrative leave in 2021. Cader alleged in the lawsuit — which highlighted even more alarming allegations of wrongdoing, financial mismanagement and potential criminal activity inside the organization — that his firing was punishment for being a whistleblower after coming forward with allegations of financial abuse by Bains. 

Cader’s claims centered around misconduct by Bains which included questionable use and misrepresentation of public funds. Cader alleges he “experienced bullying, intimidation and pressure to engage in unethical conduct” at the hands of the former CEO. He claims the agency “has made a scapegoat” of him for bringing the financial corruption at the hands of Bains “to light” and alleges it was Bains’ financial mismanagement and “waste of taxpayer money'' that resulted in the organization purchasing “at least $1,300,000 in gift cards,” among many other blistering allegations. 

As a result of his termination, Cader is seeking $325,000 in damages for wrongful dismissal, including loss of benefits during the 18-month reasonable notice period and loss of pension benefit contributions. He is also seeking $150,000 in bad faith and aggravated damages, $50,000 for breach of the Ontario Human Rights Code, $200,000 for punitive damages and $400,000 in defamation damages from Peel CAS.

Peel CAS has denied Cader’s claims, firing back in its statement of defence that says the allegations made in Cader’s lawsuit against Bains are “irrelevant,” to the allegations against Cader. The organization instead claims it was Cader who “engaged in wrongful acts,” including engaging “in serious financial misconduct and conflict of interest while working for Peel CAS and breached the trust that was put in him to protect resources and funds earmarked for vulnerable children and families.” Peel CAS denies Cader’s claim that he was wrongfully dismissed, stating the agency had just cause to fire Cader and “had no other choice but to do so once the extent of his misconduct was discovered.”

The organization also makes several allegations of its own against Cader surrounding financial wrongdoing on his behalf, the most alarming being that the former employee misappropriated approximately $1.38 million of the organization's funds through a variety of methods, which the organization claims was done through submitting fake receipts, falsifying online invoices, requesting reimbursements for purchases he returned or cancelled and improperly distributing gift cards.

Cader’s lawyer has previously declined to comment on the statement of defence and the allegations made in it, previously stating in an email to The Pointer that “as the matter is before the courts it would not be appropriate.”



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Twitter: @mcpaigepeacock

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