Man facing multiple fraud charges in jail awaiting bail hearing

Colin Chisholm
Published on January 8, 2016

Stephen Wade Tracey, 29, is facing 28 charges. He was remanded into custody after an appearance at the Hants County Courthouse Jan. 8.

©Colin Chisholm — TC Media

WINDSOR — A man who was arrested on a province-wide warrant earlier this week remains in custody as lawyers prepare for a bail hearing.

Stephen Wade Tracey, 29, was at the Hants County Courthouse in Windsor on Jan. 8, but was remanded back into custody until his bail hearing Jan. 15.

Police allege Tracey has been involved in crimes involving identity theft and cheque fraud, often with a female accomplice.

The woman accused of participating in the fraud with Tracey was arrested on Dec. 19 in New Brunswick and remains in police custody at a women’s correctional facility.

The RCMP issued a notification that a province-wide arrest warrant had been issued for Tracey on Jan. 5.

Tracey has 28 charges before the court.

Defence lawyer Chrystal MacAulay waived the reading of the charges.

“I understand the Crown is opposed to his release,” MacAulay said. “In that event, Mr. Tracey will consent to remand (into custody) for one week, which goes until next Friday.”

Crown attorney Bill Fergusson said he couldn’t guarantee everything will be ready in that timeframe.

Judge Claudine MacDonald said the matter will be “squeezed in” on Friday, as there are other matters, including three trials, scheduled for that day.

MacDonald initially suggested Jan. 18, which is less busy, but MacAulay said the consent for remand was only up until one week.

“Friday it will be then,” MacDonald said.

Tracey, wearing jeans and a brown hoodie, stood as he listened to the court proceedings.

MacDonald also asked if matters could be dealt with at the Kentville court, as some of the matters stem from there.

Fergusson said the investigation took place in Windsor, so it makes sense for the matters to proceed in Windsor.

The sheriff’s officers took Tracey back to the Burnside Correctional Facility in Dartmouth, where he’ll remain until Jan. 15.

Tracey made a brief appearance at the Kentville courthouse the day before, where legal aid lawyer Brian Vardigans said he was "not in a position to deal with any of this today."

Tracey was arrested the afternoon of Jan. 6 in a vehicle on Almon Street with the assistance of Halifax Regional Police and the Military Police.

Tracey is also facing similar charges in British Columbia and Alberta.

RCMP had previously stated that Tracey led a transient lifestyle, with no fixed address, often traveling between Alberta and Nova Scotia.

A press release from the RCMP thanked the public for their assistance in the apprehension of Tracey. The RCMP is also asking that potential victims of fraud contact their local police detachment, or the Windsor District RCMP at 902-798-2207. 

None of the charges against Tracey have been proven in court.