A man who was convicted a decade ago of stealing money from the B.C. Wildlife Park and a city real estate development company has been charged in connection with the theft of more than $20,000 from a minor football team in Chilliwack.
Charles Joshua Cahoon, who is facing one count of theft over $5,000 in connection to the alleged theft from the Chilliwack Giants football organization, worked as an accountant for the Kamloops Wildlife Park Society and Valleyview Lands Limited Partnership prior to his convictions in 2009.
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 added that while Cahoon was stealing from the two Kamloops organizations, he was on probation from a federal conviction for false pretence under $5,000.
At the time, Cahoon’s lawyer, Ken Beatch told 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 then-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.”
MacKay said he was convinced by the submissions put before him that Cahoon would not reoffend.
“Based 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,” the judge wrote.
As to the motive for the crimes, MacKay, in the sentencing decision, 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 said was 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 earlier this month.
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 for the current charges, the 40-year-old Cahoon was serving as treasurer for the Giants, prior to which he was 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.