The man accused of stealing more than $20,000 from the Chilliwack Giants is innocent until proven guilty, but he does have a history of stealing.
Charles Joshua Cahoon, who is charged with theft over $5,000 from the Giants, was convicted of stealing thousands of dollars from the Kamloops Wildlife Park Society and Valleyview Lands Limited Partnership, a company behind a housing development in Kamloops.
He worked as an accountant for both organizations.
In sentencing Cahoon to 12 months jail for the theft in Kamloops, a Chilliwack judge took the matter seriously, considering Crown’s request for a sentence closer to two years in jail.
“[Crown counsel John] Hempstead emphasized, putting forward the Crown position, that these are not trivial offences; that the losses were significant and involved breaches of trust by an employee against two different employers,” Judge Russell MacKay said in the written decision from Sept. 17, 2009.
MacKay also emphasized that while he was stealing from the two different organizations he was on probation from a federal conviction for false pretence under $5,000.
Cahoon’s lawyer Ken Beatch told the court that Cahoon was “well on track towards rehabilitation” and that the federal sentence he served “appeared to have a salutary effect on him.”
MacKay emphasized in the decision on more than one occasion that the 40-year-old was remorseful and likely would not offend again, pointing to remarks from Cahoon’s parole officer Danielle Fortier.
“It was her view in her testimony … that based on his excellent compliance with his parole and his openness, his willingness to accept direction, and the changes that he has made to his life, he is a person who is well on the way to rehabilitate himself,” MacKay wrote. “As well, he is unlikely, in her view, to pose a threat to repeat this behaviour in the future. Consequently, the ongoing danger would be relatively low.”
He said he was convinced by the submissions put before him that Cahoon would not reoffend.
“[B]ased on the evidence that was before me including the pre-sentence report, I do find that, in this case, I am convinced these changes are genuine, these changes are positive; they indicate that he is a person that one would not expect to be back before the courts on future occasions for this or any other transgression.”
As to the motive for the crimes, in the sentencing decision MacKay pointed to an undiagnosed claim of obsessive compulsive behaviour. There was also reference to a gambling problem, something his wife in Kamloops at the time told The Progress is untrue.
“We lost everything when he was arrested in front of all of us at that time for his illegal activities here in Kamloops,” Charlotte Daykin said Monday.
As part of the sentence, Cahoon was ordered to pay $13,747 in restitution to Valleyview Lands Limited Partnership and $7,500 to the Kamloops Wildlife Park Society.
As to the current charges, the 40-year-old Cahoon was serving as treasurer for the Giants, prior to which he was the vice-president on the organization’s board of directors.
“Specifically, there was a substantial amount of money that was unaccounted for, and the executive was not able to provide details during the course of the investigations,” Chilliwack Giants board president Drew Saunders wrote in an email to those involved with the teams. “At the time this was identified, our treasurer, Josh Cahoon resigned from the executive.”
Cahoon was arrested on Dec. 12, 2019, with the charge approved by Crown on Jan. 2, 2020.
He is next due in court Jan. 28.
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