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CRIMINAL CODE OFFENCES - Fraudulent transactions relating to contracts and trade

Friday, November 20, 2020 @ 6:35 AM  

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Appeal by Eid from his convictions for 10 commercial fraud and fraud-related offences and the sentence imposed. The trial judge found the appellant falsified documents and transactions and withheld payments to the creditors of his business to extract and steal $1.7 million from his business, which he transmitted to Lebanon before going and remaining there. After accepting forensic evidence introduced by the Crown at sentencing, the trial judge accepted the total loss to the subcontractors and creditors was $8 million. The trial judge dismissed the appellant’s post-conviction s. 11(b) application on the basis the net delay was under 30 months. The appellant submitted his trial counsel prevented him from testifying, failed to pursue and present relevant evidence in his defence, contrary to his instructions, and failed to challenge the Crown’s evidence. Trial counsel adduced the appellant agreed it was best for him not to testify and that he pursued the evidence but could not find support for the appellant’s claims. He provided explanations for not challenging the Crown’s forensic evidence.

HELD: Appeal dismissed. The appellant did not establish his trial counsel prevented him from testifying. The appellant was not prejudiced by the absence of defence evidence he alleged did not speak to his actions, which still amounted to fraud and supported the offences for which he was convicted. The appellant was not prejudiced by defence counsel’s handling of the forensic evidence or by the post-trial disclosure of some confidential information. The appellant had not established an ineffective assistance of counsel. The trial judge correctly found s. 11(b) of the Charter was not breached by the delay that occurred in the complex, transitional case. The sentence was not unfit and fell within the appropriate range for commercial frauds of similar magnitude and sophistication. The trial judge did not err in admitting the Crown’s forensic accounting reports. Sentence: seven years’ imprisonment; $488,057 restitution order; order for a fine in lieu of forfeiture for $1.7 million, with a further five years’ consecutive in default of payment.

R. v. Eid, [2020] O.J. No. 4472, Ontario Court of Appeal, G.I. Pardu, D. Paciocco and A.L. Harvison Young JJ.A., October 19, 2020. Digest No. TLD-November162020010