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Marino Cader, the former head of finance for Peel Children’s Aid Society (CAS), was arrested in November 2022, along with another employee, on charges of an alleged scheme to defraud the organization. The charges against Cader were withdrawn in May 2023 due to issues with police disclosure, but the stigma from the arrest continues to affect him. Cader is now pursuing a civil case against Peel CAS, while the agency is seeking damages from him. A Global News investigation reveals how Peel CAS became embroiled in a financial scandal, arrests, and questions about an alleged scheme involving gift cards, amidst internal turmoil and allegations of anti-Black racism within the organization.

The dysfunction within Peel Children’s Aid began to surface after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with internal pressure mounting on then-CEO Rav Bains. A group of senior managers, including Cader, sent a letter of concerns to the board about Bains’ leadership style, financial benefits, and accountability issues. Allegations include lavish spending on a gymnasium and badminton court, misuse of agency resources, and inappropriate conduct. Bains was placed on administrative leave in November 2021 and later retired after being cleared of serious wrongdoing but found to have committed minor policy violations. Criminal charges against Cader and another former employee were withdrawn due to delays in police disclosure.

Peel CAS and Marino Cader have launched civil claims against each other, seeking damages and the return of funds allegedly misused. Cader’s claim accuses Bains of instructing staff to buy gift cards to avoid returning surplus funds to the government, leading to an inventory of $1.3 million in unused gift cards. Peel CAS disputes these claims, alleging that Cader bought the gift cards himself without authorization and falsely implicated Bains when questioned. Both parties are committed to seeing the case through, with the agency emphasizing the need to return funds to benefit children, youth, and families in Peel Region.

The aftermath of the scandal at Peel CAS has had a lasting impact on the individuals involved, including Cader and Bains. Cader’s reputation has been tarnished by the arrest and subsequent legal battle, while Bains faced allegations of misconduct and misuse of agency resources during his tenure as CEO. The civil case between Cader and Peel CAS continues to unfold, with both parties presenting conflicting accounts of events leading to the alleged financial mismanagement and fraud. The public interest in the case remains high, as the community seeks accountability and justice for the vulnerable children and families served by Peel CAS.

Despite the challenges and controversies surrounding Peel CAS, the organization remains committed to its mission of helping vulnerable youth in Brampton, Caledon, and Mississauga. Efforts are being made to address the issues within the agency, improve transparency and accountability, and ensure that funds are allocated appropriately to benefit those in need. As the civil case progresses and more information comes to light, the truth behind the allegations of financial mismanagement and fraud at Peel CAS will be revealed, and those responsible will be held accountable for their actions. The focus remains on serving the best interests of the children, youth, and families in Peel Region and upholding the values of integrity, professionalism, and compassion in all aspects of the organization’s work.

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