Cornwall welfare fraud charge stayed

The front entrance to the Cornwall courthouse at 29 Second Street West. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – Charges against a Cornwall woman, accused of defrauding the Ontario welfare system, have been stayed and withdrawn.

Fredelle O’Quinn, 45, had been charged in September 2019 with fraud over $5,000 and uttering a forged document.

O’Quinn had been accused of failing to declare changes in her living arrangement, which led to a nearly $18,000 overpayment by Ontario Works.

But the fraud charge was stayed and the uttering forged documents charge was withdrawn by the Crown last week, court records show.

Typically, charges are stayed or withdrawn by the Crown after an assessment whether there’s a reasonable prospect of conviction and if prosecuting the case would be in the public interest.

A staying of a charge means it can still be revived if an accused is charged with new offences over the next year.