Home//In The News//Case Success: Fraud and money laundering charges tossed due to delay

A judicial stay of proceedings is considered the “ultimate remedy” in our legal system as the charges against the person cannot be revisited.   This type of stay is only given in rare circumstances, such as when the integrity of the justice system is implicated.

Josef Korec was accused of being involved in a multi-million dollar fraud and money laundering scheme. This was a high profile white collar crime file that had both Canadian and international dimensions. The police conducted a two-year investigation where they believed that Mr. Korec and another individual agreed to fund a project worth $25 million, but asked the alleged victim to put up $3.1 million as a down payment that was subject to the terms of a signed contract. After the alleged victim did not comply with the terms of the contract, he forfeited the down payment and alleged that he had been defrauded.  Mr. Korec was not in Canada at the time he was charged, but nonetheless returned voluntarily to deal with his charges. As a result of actions taken by the alleged victim, Mr. Korec had his assets frozen and ultimately could not fund his own defence. He also had difficulty obtaining funding from Legal Aid Alberta because the investigation resulted in him not being able to access the necessary documentation to apply for Legal Aid funding.

Ultimately, Mr. Korec was able to retain Mr. Niv to represent him. By then Mr. Korec had been self-represented for some time. It was during this time that a procedural irregularity occurred. Mr. Korec’s co-accused applied to adjourn a trial. The Crown asked Mr. Korec to waive his right to be tried in a reasonable time over email. Mr. Korec did not have the benefit of legal counsel when he agreed to waive a time period of 9.5 months in his case, and was unaware of the amount of time he was waiving in relation to his case.  When Mr. Niv discovered this procedural irregularity he filed a “Jordan Application”. This is a complex application that seeks a judicial stay of proceedings because the case took too long. As part of this application, Mr. Niv prepared written materials and affidavits. He also cross-examined a very senior Crown prosecutor who had asked Mr. Korec to waive his right to be tried in a reasonable time while Mr. Korec was self-represented.

On May 28, 2024,  Justice Catherine Skene of the Alberta Court of Justice granted Mr. Niv’s application and issued a judicial stay.  This was an incredible result for a client who was facing up to ten years incarceration. The case was widely reported on throughout Canada here and here.


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