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The Queen v. Kofi C. (Hamilton)

The Facts: Kofi C. owned three gas stations in the Hamilton area. Between 2004 and 2006, a large number of customers had their debit and credit card information stolen when they had come in to buy gas or items at the convenience store. An undercover investigation by police revealed that point-of-sale terminals had been compromised and that the information was being duplicated. In addition, at all three gas stations, tiny hidden cameras were surreptitiously recording the customers as they entered their PIN numbers. The police charged five attendants as well as the owner, Kofi C.

The Defence Strategy: All of the attendants were originally from the same township in Nigeria as our client. All were either friends or distant relatives of his, which did not look promising for him. However, through careful analysis of the evidence, and thorough background investigation of the client and the other defendants, we were able to point to a lack of any evidence that our client knew about the scheme or that he profited in any way from it. In fact, one of the accused, his brother-in-law, unbeknownst to Kofi, had been convicted of fraud on two earlier occasions. We argued that rather than being the mastermind of the operation, Kofi was the victim of his unscrupulous brother-in-law and the accomplices he recruited to siphon money from the business’s customers. We also showed that hiring family members and friends, rather than being part of a conspiracy, was simply part of a pattern of helping members of their ethnic community establish themselves in a new country.

The Result: Following several days of trial before a judge, the court found Kofi C. Not Guilty on all charges. The other defendants (who we were not representing) were not so fortunate.

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