Former Chilliwack Giants volunteer treasurer Josh Cahoon pleaded guilty to fraud on June 29, 2021 for stealing $29,000 from the Chilliwack Giants youth football organization. His sentencing hearing was held Nov. 4. (Facebook)

Former Chilliwack Giants volunteer treasurer Josh Cahoon pleaded guilty to fraud on June 29, 2021 for stealing $29,000 from the Chilliwack Giants youth football organization. His sentencing hearing was held Nov. 4. (Facebook)

Crown seeks jail time for treasurer who stole $29,000 from Chilliwack youth football club

Charles Joshua Cahoon asking for conditional sentence order while Crown seeks 12 to 18 months jail

Prosecutors say the man who stole $29,000 from the Chilliwack Giants youth football organization should be sentenced to between 12 and 18 months jail.

But Charles Joshua Cahoon’s lawyer Jayse Reveley said the 42-year-old should not go to jail, instead asking Judge Richard Browning to hand him a conditional sentence order, which is considered a jail sentence but is served in the community.

The charges stem from 2018 when, while serving as volunteer treasurer on the Chlliwack Giants board, Cahoon wrote himself 15 cheques of approximately $2,000 each totalling just over $29,000.

Discrepancies in the club’s financial statements were discussed back in August 2018, and the volunteer association found “a substantial amount of money” was unaccounted for.

Cahoon was first charged with theft over $5,000 and later the more serious count of fraud over $5,000. He pleaded guilty to the fraud on June 29, 2021.

READ MORE: Chilliwack youth football volunteer pleads guilty to fraud for stealing $29,000

Crown counsel John Lester was originally seeking 18 to 24 months jail time for Cahoon, but since Cahoon paid back the entire $29,000, the jail time requested was lessened.

The return of the money did not nearly make up for the damage of the crime, according to those with the Giants. The club missed out on $50,000 in B.C. Gaming Grants they were not approved for in 2018 and 2019 while the matter was under investigation.

“The absence of those grants hurt us to the tune of even more money than he stole,” a spokesperson for the Giants, who asked not to be named, said in 2020.

“We are just so incensed with this that we think everybody needs to know.”

In discussing case law at the sentencing hearing in provincial court in Chilliwack on Nov. 4, Lester had the rare circumstance of using a very similar conviction to Cahoon himself as a precedent in the case.

In 2009, while working as an accountant for two organizations in Kamloops, he stole thousands of dollars and was sentenced to 12 months jail.

READ MORE: Chilliwack youth football volunteer accused of stealing has a history of theft

In sentencing Cahoon in 2009, Judge Russell MacKay said he was convinced “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” that he was unlikely to reoffend.

In court this week, Lester called it “very significant” that he did nearly the same thing 12 years ago.

While he was stealing from those two different organizations in Kamloops, he was on probation from a federal conviction for false pretence under $5,000.

“This is the third time he is up for sentencing on a similar matter,” Lester told the court.

Cahoon attended the hearing on Nov. 4 with three supporters in the gallery. He is out on bail subject to conditions. One of those conditions he asked to have varied in July was a ban on him going near the victims of the crime, namely anyone involved with the Chilliwack Giants.

He asked for that bail variance because his three children play football in the organization. Lester opposed that variance providing letters from parents who did not want Cahoon around at games.

Judge Peter Whyte ruled there was no risk to the public of him committing a similar offence – fraud – at a football game, so the variance was reasonable.

Judge Browning reserved his decision on sentencing with a decision now scheduled for Feb. 11.

RELATED: Former Chilliwack constituency assistant who stole more than $113,000 sentenced

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