Regina vs. Chronis and Corrigan

Consumer Fraud

Helping the Blind

The charity was operating the Canadian Blind Associates; it raised funds by promoting concerts in various cities to raise money for the blind. This was my first experience investigating a consumer fraud involving a charity. From all known disbursements, none was found to have helped the blind in any way. We also established that a practice existed to deposit only 55% of all receipts, that I labeled the ‘known deposits’. Canadian Blind Associates itself was not registered as a charitable organization. In October 1975 Judge Costello found them guilty. Both accused weighed over 300 pounds each and could not sit on their chairs, only kneel on them. This is how we found them upon entry with the police to execute a search warrant.

This case required great care in the labeling of accounting information. Such phrases as “available documents”, “known sale proceeds”, “known bank accounts,” “apparent understatement of deposits” were necessary given the extent of missing accounting records and the practice. It was from the “known” information that I concluded no known funds had gone to the benefit of the blind. The cross-examination process taught me at an early age to be exact and to not over reach in helping my client.

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