Man charged in Kingston fraud scheme formerly employed by local school board

The Macdonald-Cartier Building (left) on Wellington Street, which houses the Ontario Court of Justice, and the Limestone School Board office on Portsmouth Avenue in Kingston. Photos via Google Street View/Kingstonist file photo.

A local man who currently is facing 25 charges following a six-month-long fraud investigation was once employed by a local school board, Kingstonist has confirmed.

Steven Scott, a Kingston resident, was arrested on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024, after local police began an investigation in June 2023 into an initial complaint. According to police, six more complainants were identified as the investigation unfolded. Additionally, upon his arrest at a residence in the downtown area, Scott became combative and attempted to flee from officers, Kingston Police said in announcing the initial charges laid against Scott on Friday, Jan. 5, 2024.

Police detailed that Scott had allegedly carried out what is often referred to as an “advance-fee scam,” which involved the accused man accepting money from his victims “with the promise of a large sum in return.” Further, Scott “told the victims he was an OPP officer” in two of the cases involved in the investigation, Kingston Police shared.

The initial charges laid against Scott included:

  • Escape from lawful custody
  • Fraud exceeding $5,000
  • Fraud not exceeding $5,000
  • Laundering the proceeds of crime
  • Resisting arrest

Since his arrest, Scott appeared in court a few times before being denied bail on Friday, Jan. 26, 2024.

At the time of Scott’s arrest, Kingston Police would not disclose the accused man’s place of employment. It was quickly learned that the accused man is not a professor at Queen’s University – apart from the spelling of their first names being different, Dr. Stephen Scott, a professor in the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences at Queen’s University and Vice-Dean of Research for Queen’s Health Sciences (who was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2022), is 59 years old, while Steven Scott, is 57, according to police.

The accused Scott worked for the Limestone District School Board, though it is not clear when.

“Mr. Scott is no longer an employee,” stated Jane Douglas-Charanduk, a Communications Consultant with the LDSB, who went on to say that the board would not be commenting further “because the matter is before the courts.”

Information from sources, which has been verified by Kingstonist, indicates that Scott is was an educational assistant (EA) with the board, and that he worked at a local elementary school. The LDSB would not confirm which school Scott worked at, nor the period of time during which Scott was employed with the board. According to the Ontario College Application Services (OCAS), EAs “act as support staff in elementary and secondary school classrooms, assisting teachers and other classroom staff in carrying out education plans.

“This may include working with students on their academic studies, assisting children with disabilities or special needs and more,” the OCAS states on their website, noting that those who train to become an EA train in educational programming, child development and observation, children’s learning processes, special education, behavioural intervention, and crisis intervention.

Further information on specific requirements and qualifications for EAs can be read on the Skilled Trades Ontario website.

However, the board did disclose that the fraud activity Scott is accused of did not involve the school he worked at, nor the students he worked with.

“The charges do not stem from any incidents that occurred at school or in relation to students,” Douglas-Charanduk relayed.

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