Winning Against Theft & Fraud Charges

The wide range of issues covered in this area does not lend itself to easy summaries of prior cases. I have successfully defended everything from simple shoplifting to complicated commercial fraud allegations.

With these types of offences, there is often ample room to convince the Crown Attorney to make favorable offers and I try to take this course of action whenever possible. I am often able to instruct the client on what they can do to prepare themselves for a resolution and once that is done, I am often able to convince the Crown to withdraw the charges.

Diversion Outcomes

All of the following clients were charged with either Theft or Fraud and received the benefit of the diversion that did NOT result in any finding of guilt and therefore no record:
R. v. A. (Brampton Court, May 2010); R. v. B. (Brampton Court, June 2010); R. v. C. (Brampton Court, May 2010); R. v. E. (Brampton Court, July 2010); R. v. K. (St. Catherine's Court, June 2010); R. v. M. (Brampton Court, May 2010); R. v. R. (Brampton Court; September 2010); R. v. R. (Brampton Court, October 2010); R. v. S. (Brampton Court, March 2010); R. v. Z. (Brampton Court, November 2010); R. v B. and R. v. G. and R. v. S. (Brampton Court, November, 2010)

In addition to the cases outlined below, there here have been an additional 40-50 cases diverted out of the process by me between 2011 and 2013.

Other Cases and Strategies:

2016 Theft & Fraud Offences
2 out of 3 charges resulted in no criminal record.
2 withdrawal of charges.
1 term of probation when facing jail sentence.
R. v. M. - B&E Tools and Possession of Stolen Property
Factual Background: A neighbour heard a noise outside and saw a group of young men who appeared to be breaking into vehicles, and called the police. Police came and found my client; two other young men took off while police searched a backpack found on my client. In that backpack they found property that appeared to be stolen as well as tools that could be used to break into vehicles.

Strategy: There was nothing to indicate that the backpack belonged to my client, and there was some evidence that it had been dropped by the other two young men and simply picked up by my client when they ran away. I needed to convince the Crown that they had problems with their case.

Decision/Outcome: I was able to convince the Crown that there was potentially an illegal search by the police and they lacked proof with regards to the ownership of the backpack. The Crown agreed to withdraw all charges upon completion of diversion by my client.
R. v. R. - Theft and Possession Under
Factual Background: My client knew an employee who worked for a large department store, and they came to an agreement with others that she would buy items from this particular teller at a discount; would return the goods and receive a gift card; and then use that gift card to purchase other items. Store security became suspicious, investigated, and ended up charging five people in total (including my client). My client was charged with 75 total counts of various offences because the police felt that charging her with every possible offence they could think of was appropriate. The court was not impressed with the police tactics.

Strategy: My client was completely remorseful and had fully admitted her involvement to the police at the time. I needed to convince the judge that not only had she been cooperative and remorseful but that the police were trying to make some sort of example out of her by charging her with such an excessive number of offences.

Decision/Outcome: Client ended up pleading guilty to one charge of fraud. She paid restitution for the items she had stolen, and she received probation. The Crown's initial position had been 15 months in jail.
R. v. F. (2016 Bradford) - Counterfeit Money
Factual Background: My client and two of his friends made purchases at two fast food places. An employee at one of these businesses noticed one of the bills appeared to be counterfeit and called the police, providing the police with a description of the vehicle and the three persons inside the vehicle.

Strategy: I was able to convince the Crown that my client, who was in the backseat, was not involved in the attempt to pass the bills at either fast food restaurant, and that there was no evidence that could prove that he knew the bills were counterfeit. Additionally, none of the counterfeit bills were found on my client's person. The Crown requested further disclosure of the police by way of surveillance video from the two restaurants; however there was no surveillance video.

Decision/Outcome: Crown was forced to agree that there was no case against my client and the charges were withdrawn.
2014-2015 Theft & Fraud Offences **28 Cases**
26 of the 28 cases resulted in no criminal record.
2 of the 27 cases resulted in a criminal record; 1 with probation, 1 with intermittent sentence.
R. v. B. (2015 Milton) - Theft Under and Possession of Stolen Property
Factual Background: My client was a person with a very important, high-level job as an executive in a big company, who had absolutely no reason to steal anything. Over time, she had stolen thousands of dollars of expensive clothing until she was eventually caught, at which point she attempted to flee from the police officer. Given her background, the Crown felt that given the number of times she had stolen that she should be given a custodial sentence.

Strategy: I was able to persuade the Crown that this had nothing to do with my client's desire to steal and had everything to do with the fact that my client's husband had left her for another woman and then came back and was living in the house so he could be near his daughter despite the fact that he was still involved with the other woman. This took a very real toll on my client's self-esteem and led her to act out in this fashion. My client had been seeing a counsellor at my suggestion, who provided a report confirming all of this.

Decision/Outcome: The Crown ultimately agreed that mental health diversion was most appropriate. At the end of that year-long process, the charges were ultimately withdrawn.
R. v. S.S. - Theft Over $5000 x2; Possession of Property Obtained by Crime
Factual Background: Mr. S was alleged to have stolen automobile parts from his workplace over a period of 1 month, a total value which accumulated to approximately $48000

Strategy: Crown originally alleging much more than $48000 because the owner attempted to blame bad business decisions onto what Mr. S had taken; also another man involved; had to convince the Crown that yes he was guilty but he only took $4800 worth. Make sure he ended up with a conviction that was not an indictable offence and sentence had to be less than 6 months or he would have been deported.

Decision/Outcome: probation for 2 years, $4800 restitution to be paid in $200 sums every month, 90 day intermittent sentence to be served on weekends, counselling as directed
R. v. S.S. - 6 counts of Fraud under $5000
Factual Background: Mr. S was alleged to have bought computer equipment from his workplace, take out hard drives from the equipment, then return the bought equipment in exchange for a full refund; this occurred over a period of 6 months during which he would sell the removed parts online.

Strategy: to provide the restitution money up front, and to convince the Crown or judge that Mr. S should not receive a criminal record as this would prevent him from obtaining his engineering license which he had been attending university for. Provided letters of recommendation, report from a counsellor, and demonstrated efforts at remediation (including a new job as a supervisor at Starbucks)

Decision/Outcome: received a conditional discharge, no criminal record.
R. v. A.H. - Theft Over $5000
Factual Background: was working for an employer where he would collect cash from a series of locations and he over the span of about 9 months took $18,000

Strategy: get full restitution made up front and have a pre-trial with a judge explaining that there was favourable background information; Crown was originally seeking 18 months in jail

Decision/Outcome: ultimately the Crown ended up agreeing to a 6 month conditional sentence to be served at home
R. v. M.S. - Theft Over $5000
Factual Background: Client's father accused her of stealing a large amount of his money because she had power of attorney over his banking after her mother died. Police investigated and found that the money was all accounted for in the purchase of a condominium and its furnishings for her father. At the time, no charges were laid; but later, the police learned that she had an investment account that was his money that she was not returning to him because she did not want him wasting it away. She then got charged because there were transactions in the account which suggested that she had been using that money for her own benefit which would be a breach of trust.

Strategy: To convince the Crown that to have a trial on this matter would in all likelihood result in an acquittal because the man had no credibility having lied to the police initially. Full restitution was made to the father, yet the Crown was still planning to proceed with the charge. I convinced the Crown to have a direct conversation with the father to get a sense of how he would come across because the Crown had not yet met him directly.

Decision/Outcome: Following that meeting, the charges were withdrawn because in the meeting the father made further accusations which the police found to be completely untrue.
R. v. A.M. - Fraud Under $5000
Probation for 1 year, community service, pay $750 restitution following a trial in which the client testified but was not believed - it was theft from his employer
R. v. R.K. - Theft Under
Charges were withdrawn
R. v. N.M. - Theft and Fraud Under from his employer
Charges were withdrawn - restitution, community service, counselling
R. v. A.S. - Theft Under
Charges were withdrawn
R. v. Z.A. - Theft Under
Charges withdrawn
R. v. N.S. - Theft Under
Charges withdrawn
R. v. A.Y. - Theft Under
Charges were withdrawn
R. v. K.M. - Theft Under
Charges were withdrawn
R. v. R.C. - Theft Under
Charges withdrawn
R. v. D.B. - Theft Under
Charges withdrawn
R. v. J.M. - Theft Under
Military reservist

Diverted charges withdrawn
R. v. L. F. - Break and Enter, Mischief, Breach of Probation
Paid restitution to the school for damage done by he and others, charges withdrawn
R. v. L.H. - Fraud Under from her employer
Plea to theft under

Received conditional discharge with 9 months probation, 40 hours of community service, and 90 days to pay $89 in restitution
R. v. M.P. - Break and Enter and Commit an Indictable Offence x2
Crown initially seeking a criminal record with probation but was able to explain and show reports regarding a learning disability

Client paid restitution, charges withdrawn
R. v. J.H. - Theft Under
Charges withdrawn
R. v. S.A. and J.A. - Theft Under
Charges withdrawn
R. v. J.T. - Theft Under
Charges withdrawn
R. v. K.S. - Theft Under
Charges were withdrawn
R. v. S.A. - Theft Under
Charges were withdrawn
R. v. Y.A. and E.C. - Theft Under
Charges were withdrawn
R. v. H.S. - Theft Under
Charges were withdrawn
R. v. S.K. - Theft Under
Charges were withdrawn
R. v. H.P. - Theft Under
Charges withdrawn

2013 and older cases
R. v. S. (Brampton Court, April 2013)
Factual Background: Client was charged with common nuisance, fraud over $5,000, and conspiracy to commit fraud after rolling back the odometers on trucks he would then sell for further profit. The RCMP originally charged my client with 42 counts of fraud over $5,000. My client admitted he had rolled back "10-15 trucks" and was remorseful about what he had done, but believed he had been set up for the other counts by his competition. He had a previous record of fraud over $1,000 and assault, both of which he had received a conditional discharge with 12 months probation of which there was no violations or incidents.

Strategy: To decrease the number of counts of fraud my client was charged with, by proving them to be improvable and improper, and to have a third party assess the amount of fraud each rolled-back truck had produced… also, to prove that there was no safety concerns associated with these trucks to the public. The original amount of Fraud alleged was $450,000 which would result in a jail sentence of 4-5 years.

Decision/Outcome: We were able to convince the Crown that only certain transactions could be shown to be fraudulent and when the assessment was done, the actual amount was determined to be $28,000 instead of $450,000. Judge gave the client an18-month conditional sentence to be served in the community, 9 months of which would be house-arrest in which the client was able to leave his residence for work purposes, medical and legal appointments, and religious attendances. An excellent result compared to what the client was originally facing.
R. v. P. (Brampton Court, March 2013)
Factual Background: Client was charged with theft under $5,000 after stolen cell phones from his place of work were found in his bag by his manager.

Strategy: To provide the Crown and judge with a report from a doctor outlining my patient's cognitive issues which affected his decision making in this incident.

Decision/Outcome: All charges were withdrawn.
R. v. D. (Brampton Court, December 2012)
Factual Background: Client was caught on video by loss prevention officers at his work stealing drill bits. He was charged with theft under $5,000.

Strategy: To convince the Crown that this was an out-of-character incidence for my client and have him write an apology letter to the store.

Decision/Outcome: All charges were withdrawn.
R. v. A. (Brampton Court, September 2012)
Factual Background: Client was observed by loss-prevention officers at her work for concealing merchandise on her person during her shift, and then exiting the store making no attempt to pay for the merchandise. She was charged with three counts of theft under $5,000.

Strategy: To provide letters of reference and to prove client was seeking counseling, and to demonstrate how her actions were a result of unfortunate personal circumstances, and have the client pay back for the merchandise up front. The amounts were not small and the incidents were happening over a period of several months. Client had lost her job.

Decision/Outcome: Client was given a conditional discharge even though the Crown was seeking 6-9 months in jail. Letters from her therapist and from her volunteering efforts were particularly helpful to the judge.
R. v. B. (Milton Court, September 2012)
Factual Background: Disagreement with a cab driver in which alcohol was a factor led to some damage being done to the cab car, and client was charged with mischief under $5,000.

Strategy: To have the client agree to participate in a direct accountability program, have client make a donation to a church or charity, and have the client enter into an alcohol awareness program.

Decision/Outcome: Charges were withdrawn.
R. v. G. (Finch Court, July 2012)
Factual Background: Client was charged with theft under $5,000 after being viewed on store security cameras allegedly taking merchandise.

Strategy: To show the Crown that the client was suffering from some medical issues that contributed to his poor decision-making.

Decision/Outcome: All charges were withdrawn.
R. v. D. (Milton Court, July 2012)
Factual Background: Client was charged with theft under $5,000 after taking items from his place of employment.

Strategy: To convince the Crown to accept a $100 charitable donation to a Canadian charity, and to have the client attend a stop shop theft program.

Decision/Outcome: Charges were withdrawn.
R. v. N. (Newmarket Court, June 2012)
Factual Background: Client was observed my store security concealing makeup brushes in her bag with no attempt to pay for them. She was charged with theft under $5,000 and possession of stolen property.

Strategy: To prove this was an out-of-character incident for my client, and that she was extremely remorseful of her actions. Did so by having her reimburse the store for stolen goods, make a donation to a charity, and do community service upfront.

Decision/Outcome: All charges were withdrawn.
R. v. P. (Brampton Court, March 2012)
Factual Background: Client was observed by store security for placing a lock in his shopping cart and then attempting to get a refund for the lock he had not purchased in the first place. Client was charged with fraud under $5,000.

Strategy: To prove this was an incident resulting out of financial stress, and the client was extremely remorseful. To also show the previous time client had been charged with property concerns, he had also been extremely remorseful and had made attempts to rectify the situation by continuing with community service following the end of his probation period, and solving his alcohol abuse problems by himself through counseling.

Decision/Outcome: Crown agreed to diversion, whereby he had to write an apology letter and make a donation, but they also had him enter into a peace bond with the condition he would not go into any Home Depot stores, which would normally not be required but he had a previous incident that was similar in nature.
R. v. A & H. (Brampton Court, March 2012)
Factual Background: Both clients were shopping at a local No Frills grocery store, with a grocery cart and baby stroller. After filling their cart with groceries, they transferred the items into the stroller, at which point they left the store without paying for any of the items. The police were called, and both were charged with theft under $5,000.

Strategy: To convince the Crown it was out of character for my clients and that this should not be seen as a joint criminal enterprise.

Decision/Outcome: Crown agreed to defer my clients out of the criminal process.
R. v. P. (Brampton Court, February 2012)
Factual Background: Client was charged with theft under $5,000 after failing to pay for several items at the Rona Hardware Store. The items were placed under wooden sheets in his pickup truck, and he failed to pay for them after leaving the Rona lumber yard.

Strategy: Convince the Crown to accept restitution of $52.55 to the Rona Store and a $200 charitable donation.

Decision/Outcome: Client made a donation to Sick Kids Hospital, reimbursed the Rona Store, and all charges were withdrawn.
R. v. R. (Brampton Court, January 2012)
Factual Background: Client was accused of stealing two cheques from the student union at which she worked and depositing them into her own personal bank account. Client was charged with two counts of theft under $5,000 and two counts of fraud under $5,000.

Strategy: To delay the case long enough that my client was able to get the money together to pay back the students' union, and once she had that money, to indicate to the judge that the money was in a trust account. Also, to have the client complete volunteer work. The client was in a very strict family and was feeling unbearable pressure from her parents regarding her "unsatisfactory" grades.

Decision/Outcome: Client pled guilty and was given a conditional discharge, with probation for 12 months, restitution within 30 days, and 100 hours of volunteer work.
R. v. H. (Brampton Court, January 2012)
Factual Background: Client was charged with theft under $5,000 after loading gift-cards for her own personal use at the Sears store where she worked. Client immediately confessed and reimbursed Sears for the amount she had taken.

Strategy: To prove that this was out of character for my client, and that she was attempting to rectify the situation by doing upfront volunteer work and paying back Sears for the money she had taken.

Decision/Outcome: Client was given an absolute discharge.
R. v. N. (Brampton Court, January 2012)
Factual Background: After stealing several items from the back of pickup trucks, my client was charged with theft under $5,000 and possession of stolen property.

Strategy: To get the Crown to agree that it was out of character for my client by demonstrating how he had completed upfront volunteer work.

Decision/Outcome: Although the Crown was originally asking for a criminal conviction, all charges were withdrawn and he was diverted out of the criminal process.
R. v. P. (Brampton Court, January 2012)
Factual Background: Client was charged with theft under $5,000 after fraudulently loading cash onto gift cards in the department store where she worked, and then distributing them to friends or using them personally. The client was immediately remorseful and confessed.

Strategy: To demonstrate to the Crown that this was out of character for my client, I collected character reference letters and demonstrated how she had signed up by herself to do volunteering at the Rape Crisis Center, which the Crown found to be an extremely worthy cause.

Decision/Outcome: All charges against the client were withdrawn.
R. v. D. (Brampton Court, December 2011)
Factual Background: Client, who was a Canada Post employee, was taking a phone call at a Canada Post depot. Her employer had set up video cameras in order to catch the person who had been stealing used cell-phones that were being collected at the center. After viewing the footage, the Canada Post and police believed my client had taken one of the cellphones, and she was charged with Theft From Mail.

Strategy: To convince the Crown and later, the judge, that this was truly out of character and that she had completed 50 hours of volunteer work following the charge, and that these were recycled phones that she did not set out to steal, it simply became a spur-of-the-moment decision. Because it was theft from mail, the Crown position was 90 days in jail.

Decision/Outcome: After hearing my submissions, client was given an absolute discharge.
R. v. L. (Etobicoke Court, October 2011)
Factual Background: After being observed on video tape stealing $2,000 worth of merchandise at the Wal-Mart store where he worked, my client was charged with theft under $5,000.

Strategy: Wal-Mart was attempting to blame him for $25,000 in loss. Attempted to convince the Crown that my client was responsible for only approximately $2,400 worth of merchandise, all of which he paid back to Wal-Mart. Client also made a charitable donation.

Decision/Outcome: All charges were withdrawn.
R. v. P. (Brampton Court, October 2011)
Factual Background: After being observed by a store security guard of stealing several video games from a Costco store, client was charged with theft under $5,000.

Strategy: To convince the Crown that this was an out-of-character act. Client has a disabled son and limited sources of income. Had the client write a letter of apology, and make a charitable donation.

Decision/Outcome: Charges were withdrawn.
R. v. A (Brampton Court, May 2011)
Factual Background: After being observed by a loss prevention officer taking merchandise from a Winners store, and making no attempt to pay for those items and exiting the store, my client was charged with theft under $5,000. Merchandise stolen was worth just under $30.

Strategy: To convince the Crown not to prosecute.

Decision/Outcome: All charges against my client were withdrawn.
R. v. G. (Brampton Court, November 2010)
Factual Background: Client was charged with theft under $5,000 after admitting to loss prevention officers he had stolen several items from the store The Bay and one item from the store Sephora. Client was immediately remorseful.

Strategy: To have the client do some community service and make a donation to a Canadian charity up front, and to pay back for the merchandise. This proved that my client was remorseful of his actions and it was an out-of-character occurrence.

Decision/Outcome: Charges were withdrawn.
R. v. R. (Brampton Court, October 2010)
Factual Background: After concealing several items in her shopping cart at the Real Canadian Superstore, and making no attempt to pay for these items upon leaving the store, my client was charged with theft under $5,000.

Strategy: To assemble character references to demonstrate that this was out of character for my client. Also had my client write an essay on why shoplifting was bad and a donation to a charity, to demonstrate to the Crown that she was attempting to rectify the situation.

Decision/Outcome: Client wrote an essay on the negativity of shoplifting, and made a donation to Sick Kids Hospital. All charges were withdrawn.
R. v. R. (Brampton Court, October 2010)
Factual Background: Client stole merchandise from his employer on his last day of work.

Strategy: Convince the Crown that this was totally out of character; client was hard-working, religious, and deeply remorseful. His employer had treated him very badly prior to firing him for no good reason.

Decision/Outcome: Breaches of trust often result in jail sentences but I was able to convince the Crown to give my client diversion. He was not found guilty of any offence and maintained a completely clean record.
R. v. K. (Milton Court, April 2010)
Factual Background: Client created false electronic transactions and stole approximately $2,500 from her employer but admitted it right away and was deeply remorseful.

Strategy: To put together a persuasive package for the judge to minimize the sentence—Crown was seeking jail and I wanted a conditional discharge and no criminal record.

Decision/Outcome: Client paid the full amount back and I was able to convince the judge to grant a discharge so that the client avoided a criminal record.
R. v. S. (Milton Court, February 2010)
Factual Background: The client was an employee of Winners and during a two month period he ran through several fraudulent transactions that resulted in him getting property for free. He did similar transactions for friends and family members although his family members did not know that he was doing this.

The Strategy: The client was just barely 18 years old at the time when these offences took place. He had enrolled in a College course for Travel & Tourism following his arrest on these charges. A criminal record would make travel, which was required for his course, very difficult. I instructed him to complete volunteer hours, a letter of apology, and to save up the $8,000.00 that he needed to repay to Winners.

Decision/Outcome : The Crown asked the Judge to impose a 6 month jail sentence to be served at home under house arrest with electronic monitoring. I convinced the judge that given his age, his need to travel, and his efforts since his arrest at making amends, he should receive a Conditional Discharge and no criminal record. The Judge agreed.
R. v. V. (Brampton Court, January 2010)
Factual Background: The client was charged with shoplifting a substantial amount from a department store.

The Strategy: The client had received a form of diversion before and because of that, the Crown did not want to agree to diversion again. I instructed the client to perform 40 hours of volunteer work on her own and write a letter of apology.

Decision/Outcome : The Crown was impressed with the client’s efforts and changed their mind and granted her diversion again and the charges were withdrawn.
R. v. M. (Brampton Court, November 2009)
Factual Background: Client was charged with shoplifting at two different stores and was charged with an Assault with Intent to Resist Arrest. While leaving the store after the second shoplifting, the client was caught by security but he pushed the security officer down and took off in his vehicle. There was a surveillance video showing the client stealing power tools and using the baby stroller as a way to hide the items. His wife was also present with the baby but she was not involved.

The Strategy: The client was initially claiming his innocence but when confronted with the video he was prepared to admit to his actions. The Crown wanted 30 days in jail because of the client’s previous record for related offences. I obtained a report from the client’s doctor showing he was getting counselling for some personal issues in his life and showed that to the Crown.

Decision/Outcome : As a result of the counselling that he was receiving, the Crown agreed to probation for the client with a term that he continue with his counselling and the Judge agreed.
R. v. K. (Brampton Court, October 2009)
Factual Background: The client was charged with driving his truck with stolen licence plates. The client had a long criminal record and as a result the Crown wanted 30 days in jail.

The Strategy: Since getting out of jail two years ago, the client had turned his life around. He had a stable full-time job and was clear and sober. I had proof of this which I showed to the Crown.

Decision/Outcome : The Crown agreed to a $100.00 fine and the Judge accepted that.
R. v. P. (Brampton Court, October 2009)
Factual Background: The client was arrested for breaking and entering a house. The police found him in a car that was not his in the area of the break-in; he did not have a good explanation for why he was there and in possession of a wallet that was not his.

Strategy: The client’s presence near the house in question was suspicious but the wallet he was found with was not related to any of the break and enters. I wanted to convince the Crown that they did not have any real evidence to link my client to the break-in. There were finger prints that were found at the house in question but they did not belong to my client.

Decision/Outcome : The Crown Attorney ultimately agreed that while my client was probably guilty, it could not be proven and the charges were withdrawn.
R. v. K. (Brantford Court, September 2009)
Factual Background: The client was charged with shoplifting from a department store. She would have received the benefit of a diversion program which takes the case out of the criminal process but she failed to appear in court and as a result, the Crown wanted her to get a criminal record.

Strategy: I needed to find a way to convince the Crown that she should still get the diversion program and so I instructed her to do 40 hours of volunteer work on her own.

Decision/Outcome : The Crown was impressed with her efforts and with her apology for having missed court and allowed her to participate in the diversion program. She completed that program and both charges were withdrawn.
R. v. G. (Brampton Court, 2008 – credit card fraud)
R. v. S. (Brampton Court, 2007 – commercial fraud)

Other Thefts 2012-2013

In addition to the cases outlined above there were more than 30 other cases of theft and or fraud that I was able to divert out of the criminal process for the clients.
Related to
Theft, Fraud and
Shoplifting Charges