Former Kelowna social worker's court case delayed by COVID-19 quarantine | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Former Kelowna social worker's court case delayed by COVID-19 quarantine

A disgraced former social worker in Kelowna will remain in custody in Alberta until the new year. Robert Riley Saunders, born 1970, was scheduled to make his first appearance this morning on more than a dozen charges of fraud, theft, breach of trust and using a forged document.
Image Credit: Global Okanagan (with permission)
December 10, 2020 - 10:52 AM

A disgraced former social worker in Kelowna will remain in custody in Alberta until the new year.

Robert Riley Saunders, born 1970, was scheduled to make his first appearance this morning on more than a dozen charges of fraud, theft, breach of trust and using a forged document. But court heard this morning he was sent back to a Calgary remand centre, because of suspected contact with a COVID-19 case. His case was pushed to Dec. 31 to give him time to quarantine before entering the B.C. correctional system. 

Unlike most cases, Saunders is just beginning his court process but a vast amount of information about his alleged crimes have already been revealed through civil courts. Saunders allegedly defrauded up to 102 young people in his care, putting them in harm's way while he siphoned off government funds intended for his clients. The B.C. Government has already settled a class action lawsuit against the Ministry of Children and Family Development, which accepted responsibility for Saunders' actions. 

Saunders worked for the ministry between 1996 and 2018 when the allegations were revealed in the civil lawsuit. He left Kelowna and was arrested in Calgary Dec. 4, 2020.

For more on the case, go here. 


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