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Health concern postpones sentencing for Wahnapitae woman at centre of $1M fraud case

Judge adjourns matter due to new concerns over Karen Cady’s health, with a potential cancer diagnosis
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Ontario Provincial Police allege Karen Cady laundered $1 million in funds from the business she worked for and laundered the money with help from her husband, Michael Cady. (Police handout)

Sentencing submissions for a Wahnapitae woman who pleaded guilty in a $1-million fraud case did not take place June 22, as planned.

New health concerns for Karen Cady, 48, came to light last week, but she only informed her lawyer, Denis Michel, this morning. 

Cady pleaded guilty in May to possession of a fraudulent document used in the commission of an indictable offence and fraud over $5,000.

Her husband, Michael Cady, is charged with laundering proceeds of crime and possession of property obtained by crime. He intends to proceed to trial.

Michel told the court he was advised by his client this morning that doctors found masses on her left lung, kidney and gallbladder. He said they are large masses, and further investigation is needed to determine if they are cancerous.

Cady only found out last week about the masses, and that information is absent from the pre-sentence report, said Michel.

Michel told the court he was caught off guard by the information.

“I understand this is something she didn’t share with me until this morning because it only happened last week,” said Michel “In my opinion, it has to be looked into, because it’s extremely important, especially given she has diabetes and lupus.

“I am not comfortable, nor do I believe it’s appropriate according to the rules on professional conduct, for me to proceed with the sentencing when I know there may be a very serious medical issue with my client.”

Michel said he was seeking an adjournment as a result of the new information.

Ontario Court Justice Michael Carnegie said he wants to make sure the court is in the best possible position to allow Cady to “advance her best possible argument without unduly delaying the proceedings.”

“Right now, I don’t know what you’re telling me with respect to any certainty regarding her diagnosis, and you don’t either,” said Carnegie. “It appears to the court that this may impact the nature of the submission. Cancer is always a grave concern, and given the recent developments, it is a circumstance in which I feel I have very little option but to grant an adjournment so that exploration can be had to confirm the diagnosis or the findings.”

Crown counsel Carolyn Hackett of the Serious Fraud Office said she is skeptical, given a complete lack of evidence from Cady on any potential diagnosis.

“While the Crown obviously wants to proceed in this matter, it also has to end fairly,” said Hackett. “I think we’re all in a difficult position, due to the late disclosure from Mrs. Cady. At the very least, there needs to be a doctor’s note, then a report, and right now we have nothing. If we come back and there is still nothing, I’m very concerned about the veracity of information being provided.”

Michel said his client is not trying to delay matters, but is informing the court what has transpired over the past several days.

The matter returns June 30 to set a case management conference.

A forfeiture hearing to determine who gets what out of the items purchased by Cady with the money she stole — which totalled $1.017 million, according to an agreed statement of facts — has also been adjourned.

Michael Cady has recently changed his counsel, and an adjournment was being sought to allow his new lawyers to go over all of the disclosure.

Chloe Boubalos, who is representing Michael Cady, said her firm was just retained and they “need a bit of time to review material.”

Crown counsel Hackett said while it isn’t surprising the defence is seeking an adjournment given the volume of material and number of parties involved, she reluctantly consented to the adjournment, as did counsel representing financial lending institutions such as Easy Financial and Scotia Easy Lending, TD Auto Finance, all of which have a vested interest in the outcome of a forfeiture hearing.

Justice Carnegie said even though an adjournment is being asked for in “the 11th hour,” Michael Cady is in a position that he needs to discuss matters with his new counsel.

“Given his direct interest and need for legal advice, I will grant the adjournment,” Carnegie said. 

Matter will return June 30 to set a date.