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Judge reserves decision in Michael Cady’s trial

Matter will return June 7 to set a date for that decision
170522_karen and michael cady
Karen and Michael Cady. Karen pleaded guilty in September 2021 to $1M fraud from Henninger's Diesel. Husband Michael in court, charged laundering proceeds of crime and possession of property obtained by crime

Just because Michael Cady enjoyed the comfort of a perceived legitimate combined income, it does not raise his complacency in family finances to the level of criminal intent, Cady’s lawyer argued in his final submissions on Thursday.

“It's very easy from where we sit today to say that Michael Cady should have been suspicious of this, and made inquiries of that, and must surely have known, but we are not Michael Cady,” said defence lawyer Glenn Sandberg. “All we can know is what was in his mind and how his marital household functioned is the evidence we have from him.”

Sandberg said it is clear that (Henninger’s Diesel president and owner) Diana Fuller's trust in Karen Cady was misplaced, and that, so, too, was Michael Cady’s trust in his own wife.

Cady was not a perfect witness, said Sandberg, as he struggled for details of things to which he had paid little attention in those years. 

Living beyond his means is not an offence, and (criminal intent) is not proven beyond a reasonable doubt by extravagant purchases, even if they are the result of poor or even irresponsible decisions and financial matters, said Sandberg.

(Karen) lied to him about how much she was to earn and how she would be paid. 

“Their combined income, according to him, paid the bills and gave them an increasingly comfortable living,” said Sandberg. “Admonish him for being naive. Castigate him for his lack of perspicacity. Karen Cady deceived him at the same time she was deceiving Henninger’s Diesel.”

Sandberg said the Crown has pointed out glaring red flags Cady should have seen over the years that would have led to him becoming suspicious of Karen’s activities.

“When you consider the evidence in this case, those flags are much bigger and brighter when they're seen in the rear view mirror of history.

Crown Counsel Carolyn Hackett, of the province’s Serious Fraud Office, told the court there is powerful evidence in this case that Cady knew either through knowledge or through willful blindness that his wife was stealing money from the business.

“He knew that he was in possession of property obtained by crime, and he knew he was laundering proceeds of crime,” said Hackett. “There were so many suspicious circumstances, so many red flags, and so much money that Mr. Cady clearly knew that the money in the Northern Credit Union account was coming from his wife's fraud on her employer.”

At the very least, Cady was willfully blind, and he clearly suspected that the money in the NCU account was obtained by crime, Hackett said. He chose not to inquire further because he did not want to confirm the suspicions.

“It’s the Crown's position that the evidence shows beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Cady committed both the offenses possession of property obtained by crime and money laundering,” said Hackett. “He didn't commit the fraud, but he was happy to possess all of the money from it, to convert it to buy different things, and to live off of it.”

Superior court Justice Kathleen Cullin has reserved her decision. The matter has been adjourned to June 7 to set a date for that decision.