Welfare fraud trial focuses on child support

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – The ex-spouse of Kaila Warwick testified Tuesday that he was of the belief that payments made to her from July 2013 until March 2014 were child support.

Kyle Sauve had been in a six year relationship with Warwick in Petawawa, Ont. before their relationship ended in June 2013. They were never married but the couple did have a child together, who was 11 months old when they split.

Warwick is facing five charges related to welfare fraud. She has pleaded not guilty to all counts.

Crown Julian Johnson asked Sauve about payments made through electronic transfer to Warwick’s account, which court heard was not declared in Warwick’s Ontario Works statements of income.

“There were was no written agreement (between us). Just via text (message),” Sauve testified. “I just went online to the government website checked by income versus one child, took that amount and then I just paid it biweekly.”

But defence lawyer William Webber would later tear that assertion apart.

“That was a consistent amount?,” he asked. “Correct,” Sauve said.

Webber then went through the total monthly electronic transfers (ETFs) with Sauve: July $242.14, August $1,050, September $450, October $525, November $595, December $225, January $450, February $225, March $475.

A family court order for child support, launched by Warwick, would take effect in March 2014, which included $498 per month and $2,490 in arrears. A motion to change the agreement, initiated by Sauve in October 2014, would seek to set the child support arrears at $5,976.

Webber: “How did you arrive at $5,976?”

Sauve: “I don’t remember.”

Webber: “Well, I’m going to suggest to you that if you take $498 per month from March to September (2014) that when you add that amount to the $2,490 of arrears, you equal $5,976.”

Sauve: “Okay.”

Webber: “So in your own motion to change, you acknowledge that you owed that amount in arrears to Ms. Warwick. So I’m going to suggest to you that the money that you paid to Ms. Warwick wasn’t actually child support. You never had that conversation.”

Sauve: “I disagree.”

Webber would then ask about a meeting between Sauve and Kendra Lalonde, the Ontario Works eligibility officer, on Jan. 14, 2015. “Would you agree that what you said to her was that the money you had been sending to Ms. Warwick you had done to help get her set up?”

Sauve, a Canadian Armed Forces soldier, seemed confused by the question and suggested the first large payment of $1,050 was to get Warwick set up but the rest of the ETF transfers were not.

Webber: “I would suggest to you that the only time that you started claiming that these e-transfers were considered child support was only after you had started your motion to change and started attending family court proceedings trying to reduce the arrears you had been ordered to pay. Would you agree or disagree?”

Sauve: “Agree.”

Warwick would later testify that she considered the money she was receiving from Sauve money they had saved together and money to help get her back on her feet but never considered it “income” when filling out the Ontario Works statements of income.

The trial continues in March when the defence will call its final witness.