Daughter found guilty of stealing father’s money
A 70-year-old Sydney Mines woman will be sentenced in June, having been found guilty Wednesday of stealing $96,000 from her father.
Ruth Gail Canzio of Bendix Street committed the offence between Oct. 24-29, 2013, after taking the money from her father’s safety deposit box.
Supreme Court Justice Patrick Murray entered the verdict, having reserved decision after presiding over a six-day trial in April.
“I do not believe her nor does her evidence leave me with a reasonable doubt,” said Murray, who rejected a defence suggestion that Canzio’s brother was actually the guilty one.
Although Canzio’s father, Robert Allen Sr., died in February 2014, his videotaped evidence was admitted at the trial. Also testifying during the trial was Canzio’s brother, Robert Allen Jr.
In presenting the Crown case, prosecutor Glen Gouthro had shown that it was Canzio who made arrangements to have the safety deposit box drilled and then closed out the account.
She did have signing authority on her father’s account.
Allen Sr. had a particular habit of removing money from his account and placing it in a safety deposit box which is against banking rules. He even changed banks after another financial institution told him to halt such a practice.
Murray noted in his decision that both father and son testified they weren’t aware that Canzio had access to the safety deposit box. It was also clear from the evidence that Canzio and her brother, who lives in Ontario, did not have a close relationship.
At the time of his video statement Ruth Gail Canzio leaves a Sydney Supreme Court Wednesday after being convicted of stealing $96,000 from her father’s safety deposit box in 2013. She is now to be sentenced in June. taken by Cape Breton Regional Police, the father had received a terminal cancer diagnosis. He admitted to not recalling allowing Canzio’s to have access to the box.
Murray said while Canzio admitted to having the box opened, she claimed it was to retrieve personal papers concerning her home.
According to banking records entered at the trial, Murray said Canzio had the box opened and closed the account on Oct. 29, 2013.
Defence lawyer Darlene MacRury had argued during the trial that the police investigation focused solely on her client without giving proper consideration to another potential suspect, Robert Allen Jr.
Further, MacRury argued that the father’s testimony should not be relied on because of numerous memory lapses in describing certain events that only raised more questions than provided answers.
“I have difficulty believing Ms. Canzio’s evidence,” said Murray, adding he was puzzled as to why she never told her father or her brother about accessing the deposit box and closing the account.
“There was no reason to tell them unless she didn’t want them to know,” said the judge.
Canzio testified that in opening the box, there was no money to be found. She said she didn’t tell her father or brother about the incident because they had been embroiled in an argument days prior and none were speaking to the other.
Murray said he found the son’s testimony to be straightforward and that he appeared to have nothing to hide while Canzio painted both her father and brother in an unfavorable light.
After retrieving the contents of the box, Canzio left town on Nov. 1 and after spending a few days in Halifax, she went to Florida, returning in January 2014.
Sentencing is now set for June 27.