Accused in Kin-Ability cyberattack brought to Saskatchewan for trial

Riley James Lamontagne Castillo of LaSalle, Ont. a 28-year-old male, and Shayden McMinn of Windsor, Ont. a 23-year-old female, have been charged

December 10, 2019, 1:39 am
Kevin Weedmark

Shayden McMinn, 23, of Windsor, Ontario was arrested in Ontario and brought to Saskatchewan to face trial on the cyberattack that resulted in the loss of $400,000 to $500,000 to Moosomin’s Pipestone KinAbility Centre

The two accused people in the cyberattack on Moosomin’s Pipestone Kin-Ability Centre have been arrested and were brought to Saskatchewan last week.

Riley James Lamontagne Castillo, 28, of LaSalle, Ontario, and Shayden McMinn of Windsor, Ontario were arrested November 27 in relation to the cyberattack in which close to $500,000 was stolen from the KinAbility Centre through the agency’s payroll system.

The pair are still being held in custody.

A show cause hearing was scheduled for Friday morning, but has been postponed to Tuesday morning in Yorkton provincial court. A judge will determine at that hearing whether they will remain in custody or be granted bail.

Pipestone Kin-Ability is a non-profit organization providing support services to adults with cognitive disabilities.

The cyber attack on the agency’s payroll system was discovered on October 1, 2019.

The attackers gained unauthorized access to acquire close to $500,000 in funds used for general operations and wages for KinAbility employees.

“As soon as we learned of the breach, we contacted the RCMP and took immediate steps to ensure no further withdrawals could occur,” Pipestone KinAbility said in a news release at the time.

“We also took steps to ensure that our employees would be paid on schedule, and to maintain our normal course of operations.”

A Canada-wide warrant was issued for the two suspects on October 3.

A Canada-wide warrant means that the issuing province will provide the resources to transport the suspects to that province to face charges, if they are arrested.

“When investigating the theft from the Kin-Ability, Cst Berkshire was able to identify two suspects from Ontario who received monies illegally as a result of this theft,” Sgt Scott Fefchak of the Moosomin RCMP said.

“Cst Berkshire charged the two individuals from Ontario and Canada-wide warrants of arrest were issued. The two suspects were arrested on November 27 by LaSalle Police after a traffic stop.”

Lamontagne Castillo is charged with theft over $5,000.

McMinn is charged with two counts of theft over $5,000.

Further charges involving money laundering and proceeds of crime are being considered as well.

Both suspects were held in custody at Windsor last week until Saskatchewan RCMP could arrive and transport them back to face the charges in Saskatchewan.

Cst Jonathan Berkshire of the Moosomin RCMP accompanied the Saskatchewan RCMP’s prisoner transport section to bring the suspects to Saskatchewan to face trial.

They made their first appearance in Yorkton provincial court Monday, December 3, and will appear for the show cause hearing on Tuesday morning.

Show cause hearing

The purpose of show cause hearings in Saskatchewan’s justice system is to decide on whether bail will be granted and what conditions would be attached to the accused’s release.

The judge will look at three things when deciding on bail at a show cause hearing.

First, he or she looks at the chance that the accused will not show up for their next court date.

Second, the judge looks at whether the accused is likely to commit further crimes if released or if they are dangerous to the public.

Finally, in some cases, the judge may not grant bail if he or she believes granting bail would cause people to lose faith in the administration of justice.

At the show cause hearing, the Crown prosecutor will lay out the allegations against the accused.

If the suspects in this case are released after the show cause hearing, the case will be adjourned to a later date when they will enter their plea or choose the court they want to be tried in.

If they aren’t released, they will be held on remand until their next court date.

Cybercrime on the rise

There were 7,727 victims and 32,968 cases of all types of cybercrime in Canada in 2018, from online harassment and uttering threats to fraud and theft, according to Statistics Canada.

The charges in this case are unusual because the perpetrators of fraud and other cybercrimes involving theft of property are usually unsolved, with 95.7 of cases across Canada unsolved in 2018, according to Statistics Canada’s compilation of statistics from all Canadian police forces.

Out of 272 cases of identity theft, all but three investigations remained open at the end of the year. So did 15,746 cases of fraud.

The number of cases of cybercrime was up about 23 per cent across Canada from 2016 to 2018.