A volunteer board member with the Chilliwack Giants is accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the youth football organization.
Charles Joshua Cahoon – who goes by Josh – is charged with one count of theft over $5,000 from Jan. 5, 2018. Cahoon had his first appearance to face the charge in Chilliwack provincial court on Tuesday.
The 40-year-old had been serving as the treasurer for the Giants, prior to which he was the vice-president on the board.
In an emailed statement dated Jan. 6 to the “Chilliwack Giants Family” that was forwarded to The Progress, Chilliwack Minor Football Association (CMFA) president Drew Saunders said the discrepancies in the club’s financial statements were discussed back in August 2018, at which time the RCMP were investigating.
“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,” Saunders wrote. “At the time this was identified, our treasurer, Josh Cahoon resigned from the executive.”
Saunders said Cahoon was arrested on Dec. 12, 2019, with the charge approved by Crown on Jan. 2, 2020.
“Although a terrible situation, the Chilliwack Giants are pleased with the progress of the investigation so far, and look forward to accountability and justice for the players and families of the CMFA,” according to his email. “We will continue operations, ensuring that Chilliwack is a fun, safe, exciting place to play football. We also appreciate that this is a sensitive matter amongst family members, including players still playing in our association, and will let the criminal justice system deal with this matter.”
He added that the Giants have put safeguards in place to prevent a similar theft from happening again.
This is not Cahoon’s first time in court in Chilliwack. In May 2009, he was convicted of two counts of fraud for incidents in 2006 and 2007 in Kamloops, according to public information available at Court Services Online.
He was sentenced to 12 months jail, two years probation and ordered to pay $7,500 in restitution.
Saunders did not immediately respond to an emailed request to comment on the situation with the club, including the dollar amounts allegedly stolen.
Cahoon contacted The Progress after this story was posted online to say that he was concerned about the effect the publicity about the criminal charges will have on his children.
“My children are deeply involved in this football community,” he said.
When asked if he would comment on the charges or his conviction from Kamloops, Cahoon declined.
He is next due in court on Jan. 28.
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