Peel Police negligence forces withdrawal of fraud charges against man formerly in control of Children’s Aid Society finances
(Alexis Wright/The Pointer files) 

Peel Police negligence forces withdrawal of fraud charges against man formerly in control of Children’s Aid Society finances

Peel police incompetence has, once again, led to the withdrawal of charges in a high profile case.

A year-and-a-half of protracted courtroom appearances, delayed disclosure and postponed trial dates have led to charges against Marino Cader, a former Peel Children’s Aid Society employee, who had allegedly defrauded the organization of approximately $180,000, being withdrawn.

The judge in the case recently described Peel Police’s conduct as an “unexplained…unjustified failure”, after officers involved in the investigation inexplicably kept thousands of pages of evidence and more than a dozen videotaped interviews in their possession without handing them over to the Crown for more than a year, even when hearings were supposed to begin. 

The disturbing lack of professionalism by Peel Police, a force which for more than a decade has racked up an embarrassing track record of officer misconduct, systemic discrimination and numerous bungled cases, has resulted in the failure of the justice system after disturbing evidence of widespread mismanagement at Peel’s Children’s Aid Society was unearthed by staff, a provincial review and The Pointer.   

The focus of wrongdoing within the organization has now shifted to ongoing civil action by Cader (the former head of finance) against CAS, and a counter suit against him by his former employer that has highlighted several damning claims. The former finance director and the former CEO, Rav Bains, allege through the competing lawsuits that the other was responsible for fraudulently purchasing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gift cards instead of reporting unused funds to the provincial government. After being put on leave following revelations of financial mismanagement involving expenses, Bains discreetly departed from the organization in 2022. The Board, despite disturbing evidence laid out in a provincial audit, refused to punish the disgraced CEO and he walked away without ever being held publicly accountable by the organization’s governors.

The former Board president, Juliet Jackson, stepped down in 2022, amid the turmoil that had infected Peel CAS. She had continued to maintain that Bains did nothing wrong, even after the provincial review found the CEO had violated policies that governed the use of public funds.

In a surprising turn of events, fraud charges were eventually laid against Cader, but the Crown Attorney in the case concluded on May 3 that the charges against the former director of finance at Peel CAS were being withdrawn due to unfair delay. The 18-month time frame had run out. It was established in the precedent setting R. V. Jordan case, a framework used by the courts for determining whether an accused was tried within a reasonable time, as required by section 11(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms under the ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada. 

“Although there remains a public interest in proceeding with these charges, the Crown, unfortunately, must withdraw this matter,” the Crown Attorney said on May 9. “Due to the Supreme Court's decision in R v. Jordan, the Crown did not receive substantive police disclosure until very recently, despite our repeated requests, and the Crown therefore cannot meet the 18-month Jordan timeline, despite our best efforts to both repeatedly request disclosure and to prioritize this case, not once, but twice, so that it could be heard within Jordan timelines. 

“Therefore, your honour, there's no reasonable prospect of conviction, and the Crown is in the position of having to withdraw this matter.”

In an email to The Pointer, Cader’s lawyer Jonathan Shime said the Crown “withdrew the charges on the basis that there was no reasonable prospect of conviction due to the delayed disclosure from the Peel Police.” He confirmed that no 11(b) application was actually filed and that “the Crown clearly determined that the case could not withstand such an application.”

A spokesperson from the Crown Attorney’s office said it “is duty-bound to withdraw or stay the charges if there is no reasonable prospect of conviction… After a thorough review and giving the matter very careful consideration, the Crown withdrew the charges in this matter.” 

The decision was made following the delays caused by Peel Police.

It was the climax of a-year-and-a-half of delays since Cader was charged in a “purchase and reimbursement scheme” in November 2022

It is unclear if evidence finally brought forward recently by police, and evidence against Bains that Cader claims exists, described in his civil suit, will be used to pursue criminal charges going forward, after audits and reviews revealed financial mismanagement was a problem at the organization. 

An internal investigation conducted by Peel CAS in early 2022 allegedly found the former director of finance 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 withdrawn in December when the Crown deemed 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 previously told The Pointer. They determined “there is no public interest in continuing the prosecution” against Paul.

Cader’s trial, meanwhile, was postponed for the second time in April due to what the Justice called “an unexplained facially unjustified failure of the police to provide material disclosure to the Crown” after the court learned there had been further slowdowns due to Peel Regional Police failing to provide necessary disclosure in a timely manner, preventing the case from moving forward. The trial was first postponed in January when, a week earlier, Peel Police again provided the Crown with a substantial wave of disclosure that had not been handed over previously.

The Pointer reported that, according to the Crown Attorney in the case, critical evidence — some of which has been in the hands of Peel Police since at least the summer of 2022 — was only recently received on a hard drive “containing voluminous disclosure.” In his submissions to the court, Cader’s lawyer explained in April that the latest set of disclosures included 5,000 pages of documents and 18 videotaped interviews — one of which included Cader — conducted by the accounting firm that audited Peel CAS in the spring of 2022. 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. 

“Mr. Cader and I are very pleased with the outcome of the case. Mr. Cader was presumed innocent throughout this case and the decision of the Crown to withdraw the charges stands as affirmation of his innocence. I commend the Crown on its decision to withdraw the charges. It was the correct thing to do,” Shime said in a statement to The Pointer, adding that it was Cader who first raised concerns about financial mismanagement issues within the organization. 

“The Crown withdrew the charges due to the delay issue. However, Mr. Cader's position has been and is that he is not guilty of the allegations and that a full and proper review of the evidence by an independent judge in the criminal court would have proven that.”


The charges in the criminal lawsuit against former Peel CAS director of finance Marino Cader have been withdrawn, a judge determined on May 3.

(Alexis Wright/The Pointer files) 


While the criminal case was delayed over the last 18 months, legal documents filed by Cader in his civil case launched following his termination included alarming allegations of wrongdoing, financial mismanagement and potential criminal activity inside the organization responsible for the care of the region’s most vulnerable young people. 

The allegations in the claim filed by Cader, the statement of defence by Peel CAS and its own suit against the former employee have provided a behind-the-scenes picture of the organization’s troubled leadership, raising serious questions about the management team and the board that was supposed to provide proper governance of the publicly funded institution. It has also set the stage for more potential criminal charges to surface.

In an email to The Pointer, when asked if any further charges would be laid against any other employees or former employees with Peel CAS, a spokesperson from the Crown Attorney’s office said, “The investigation and laying of criminal charges is a function of police services and is independent of the Ministry of the Attorney General,” adding that, “Any questions related to charging decisions should be directed to the police.”

In the statement of claim filed in May 2022 after his employment was ended by the organization, Cader alleged he was wrongfully dismissed and that his firing was “punishment” for being a whistleblower after he came forward with serious internal allegations against Bains. The embattled former CEO faced his own set of challenges at Peel CAS after breaking rules around expenses and using a subordinate’s work credit card. Staff who spoke to The Pointer described Bains as a controversial leader and allegations of discrimination dogged him for more than a year. The CEO was later placed on administrative leave in November 2021 following damning investigations by the union and the province that revealed a toxic work environment and financial mismanagement under Bains, before he quietly left the organization a year later in December 2022.

Three months after Bains was placed on administrative leave, Cader was put on leave in February 2022 and in May of that year, the organization indicated Cader was no longer employed by Peel CAS. In November 2022, Cader was charged by Peel Police. 

Cader had been with the organization since June 2016, joining as a financial manager before moving up shortly after to finance director in December 2016. He alleges in his lawsuit that while reporting to Bains, he was subjected to “bullying, intimidation and pressure to engage in unethical conduct,” and that Bains “expected blind loyalty” from the management team at Peel CAS and when opposed “he became abusive and threatening.” Cader also alleges that, prior to Bains being placed on leave, he instructed the former finance director to engage in unethical conduct, but that Cader declined his requests.

The former finance director alleges that, “As a result of Mr. Bains’ financial mismanagement and waste of taxpayer money, the Agency purchased at least $1,300,000 in gift cards that Mr. Bains locked away in a vault at the Agency office in Peel,” claiming Bains instructed Cader not to email him or to confirm or record his financial requests in writing to avoid a paper trail. Bains allegedly secretly instructed the agency’s staff to purchase the gift cards using surplus money so unused taxpayer funds would not have to be returned to the provincial Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, which governs Children’s Aid Societies. 

“The Agency has made a scapegoat of Mr. Cader for bringing to light the former CEO Mr. Bains’ financial improprieties, failure to appease the Former CEO and failure to cooperate with the Acting CEOs and other Agency’s employees, in covering up fraud, embezzlement and financial improprieties at the Agency,” the civil claim by Cader alleges. 

As a result of his job 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’s lawsuit against Cader alleges he was responsible for misusing funds and seeks the return of those monies. 

Bains, who has been under scrutiny since 2020 after allegations about his mismanagement of workplace culture and the organization’s finances were detailed in the provincial probe, is at the centre of Cader’s claim, which alleges several instances of financial wrongdoing by the former CEO. 

Bains allegedly avoided giving back surplus funds by instructing staff to prepay the Mississauga Convention Centre over $100,000 for future services, including “lavish meetings” at the venue, directing $50,000 in retainer fees for “future work” to Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP and redirecting funds to a community service partner in the amount of $70,000.

Cader also alleges Bains directed the organization’s property manager “to conduct home renovations for Mr. Bains on weekends with no pay, as a personal favour. The Property Manager was required to complete these home renovations outside of normal working hours.” When asked about the renovations by a member of the organization’s management team, “the Property Manager said ‘you know I can’t say no to my boss when he asks me to help out’.” The lawsuit also claims the former CEO “insisted” a badminton court, which Bains designed personally, be installed at the organization’s recreation centre “as a ‘priority,’” adding that after installation Bains used the “badminton court during a Covid lockdown period with friends and family contrary to provincial and workplace health regulations.“

The lawsuit continues: “After completion, Mr. Bains was unhappy with the layout of the courts. He provided instructions to rip out the courts despite an estimated cost of approximately $80,000. The Agency finance department blocked the direction to rip up the badminton courts.” Cader also claims Bains directed him to purchase $25,000 of supplies from a friend of the former CEO, who would then donate children’s shoes to the agency, but they were never given, according to the lawsuit. 

Cader alleges Bains tried to interfere with the 2021 provincial third-party review, claiming that, “When Mr. Bains learned that the Ministry would be conducting the MCCSS Review; he took active steps to interfere with it.” He claims, “Mr. Bains instructed Agency staff members to conduct a surreptitious survey of staff feedback with a strict instruction not to inform HR. Mr. Bains instructed the Management Team to inform him of questions they were asked during their one-on-one meetings with the Ministry during the Ministry Review so that he could prepare for his own interview.”


Former Peel CAS CEO Rav Bains is at the centre of Marino Cader’s statement of claim against the organization.

(Peel CAS/YouTube) 


The allegations in Cader’s lawsuit came after two years of investigations by The Pointer and the Province which exposed financial mismanagement and how taxpayer funds were being used, and unveiled a deeply toxic workplace culture overseen by Bains. In October of 2021, the third-party review by the Province revealed the organization, which is meant to protect vulnerable children across the region, was plagued by a “seriously troubled” workplace environment managed by a leadership culture “described as command-and-control.”

Financial irregularities were described as the norm at the troubled organization. A series of expense claims revealed in the Province’s third-party review and reported by The Pointer found Bains was using taxpayer funds for his own leisure. The provincial review found Bains used another employee's work credit card to book a flight he said was to San Francisco in 2019 for professional training, avoiding board oversight of his own credit card use. It was unclear if the Peel CAS board was alerted to the expense and did not sign off on it, or knew about it and took no action. An investigation by The Pointer found the trip was not to San Francisco but to Arizona to attend one of Bains’ life-coaching seminars to create personal wealth for his retirement. 

“The CEO should not use other employees’ Society credit cards,” the investigation commissioned by the Province determined. It found Bains expensed over $6,000 in costs to attend two separate training events in 2019 with success coaches who he acknowledged were helping him create personal revenue sources for his retirement. At the time, Bains declined to comment on the expenses, but did acknowledge them in an email sent to all staff at Peel CAS and seen by The Pointer at the time. Bains did not reimburse Peel CAS for the cost of his travel until reviewers started asking questions in 2021.

Shime told The Pointer that prior to the provincial review, Cader had spoken to “a Ministry lead” about the financial mismanagement issues at Peel CAS, having seen “financial irregularities that were of concern to him.”

Cader’s statement of claim alleges Peel CAS “did little to change the workplace culture,” following the release of the third-party investigation report. While the organization assured it would make improvements including “providing an independent ombudsperson for staff who do not feel comfortable reporting issues to management related to harassment, discrimination, and racism,” the Agency has “continued to engage in financial conflict and has perpetuated a toxic workplace,” despite the ombudsman being appointed. The claim also alleges that following the troubling findings of the Province’s review Bains tried to cover up some of the findings.

The former finance director alleges he and other members of management were concerned the Province’s investigation did not probe all of Bains’ alleged misconduct and that in December 2021, Peel CAS’s management team provided a 17-page confidential report filled with details implicating Bains “of fraud, embezzlement, high-handed conduct,” while he created a “toxic workplace and culture of corruption.” Cader claims the internal document revealed Bains was controlling and would instruct “the senior team on how they should act, think, and speak.” It alleges Bains encouraged gossip at the organization and that he once said, “I want staff to be afraid” and referred to the senior team as “a bunch of toddlers.” 

The December 2021 staff report to the board also claimed, according to the lawsuit, that Bains instructed Cader, as the former finance director, to code expenses differently to ensure they would not be detectable during the Province’s review. 

“We are fearful that should Mr. Bains become aware of who has come forward with this information, he will, through scheming and manipulation, find a means to remove us as employees of Peel CAS, as well as damaging our professional reputations,” the report concluded, according to the claim. Cader also alleges that following receipt of the “Bains Report” in December 2021, the organization retaliated against the former finance director by placing him on leave and later terminating his employment.

While Cader’s statement of claim centres on the misconduct inside the organization at the hands of Bains, in a statement of defence filed by Peel CAS, the organization remains neutral on allegations against the former CEO. Peel CAS denies the allegations against the organization, claiming Cader was the one who “engaged in wrongful acts ranging from conflict of interest to theft and fraud, breaching the obligations he owed to Peel CAS in the worst possible way, and the trust that was put in him to protect resources and funds earmarked for vulnerable children and families.”  

The organization does acknowledge that “although irrelevant, the allegations made by Cader against Bains are serious,” also confirming that Peel CAS did receive a complaint against Bains “regarding certain conduct that they alleged he had engaged in as CEO (the ‘Bains Complaint’).” The organization states in its defence that Peel CAS “immediately commenced an investigation into the allegations contained in the Bains Complaint, and placed Bains on administrative leave”… but that the “allegations made throughout the statement of claim regarding Bains’ conduct are irrelevant to the actions of Cader which formed the basis for his termination for cause.”


In a statement of defence, Peel CAS has denied the claims made by Cader and alleged serious financial misconduct by the former finance director.

(Alexis Wright/The Pointer files) 


Peel CAS has denied it wrongfully dismissed Cader and disputes the former finance director’s claims, stating the “allegations throughout the amended statement of claim regarding the conduct of others are entirely irrelevant to the matter at issue in this proceeding, which is that Cader engaged 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.” 

It continues: “Peel CAS not only had just cause to terminate his employment, but had no other choice but to do so once the extent of his misconduct was discovered.” 

Peel CAS’ statement of defence alleges significant financial wrongdoing on Cader’s behalf, claiming the former employee misappropriated approximately $1.38 million of the organization's funds through various means, including submitting fictitious receipts, falsifying online invoices, requesting reimbursements for purchases he returned or cancelled and improperly distributing gift cards. 

The organization maintains that, “At all times in relation to the investigation, administrative leave and termination of Cader’s employment, Peel CAS conducted itself with the utmost good faith,” and that “Cader’s termination had nothing to do with finding a ‘scapegoat’ or with his having hired counsel, and everything to do with Cader’s wrongful, fraudulent activities.”

The statement of defence includes numerous allegations of financial wrongdoing by Cader. 

Peel CAS claims the former finance director accepted invoices for the supply of PPE and caused the organization to pay $1,333,471 for the equipment between August 2020 and March 2022 and that “Although some PPE was received, Cader caused Peel CAS to pay at least $822,261 (of the $1,333,471) for PPE that was never delivered by PCS.” The organization also alleges that in March of 2022, “during his suspension, Cader also pressured at least one Peel CAS employee to say that the PPE had been received.” 

It also alleges that, under regular circumstances, “Peel CAS requires an inventory of approximately $300,000 worth of gift cards on hand to distribute to families and children in need. In mid-March of 2022, it was discovered that Peel CAS had 35,646 gift cards from various entities, with a total value of $1,305,085. These gift cards were purchased in bulk, either by Cader directly, or at his instruction. When questioned, he blamed the CEO, Rav Bains (‘Bains’), stating that he had directed Cader to purchase the gift cards to utilize excess funds received from the Ministry.” The organization’s defence also claims Cader purchased a car for his wife while ordering four vehicles for Peel CAS and used the fleet discount for the car. 

In total, Peel CAS alleges in its defence that Cader caused about $1.384 million in losses for the organization.

In an email to the Pointer, Sunira Chaudhri, Cader’s lawyer in the civil case against Peel CAS, said, “Mr. Cader seeks damages relating to his wrongful dismissal and manner of termination. We will provide no further comment as Mr. Cader is currently pursuing that claim before the courts.”



Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @mcpaigepeacock

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