Sylvia Joseph, in grey T-shirt, outside court on the Big River First Nation in August. Photo by Chelsea Laskowski.

It may be back to the drawing board for a Big River First Nation fraud case that was supposed to wrap up this week.

Sylvia Joseph, 49, was set to be sentenced on Tuesday for forging her signature while working for the reserve’s Fine Options Program in 2013, allegedly in exchange for cash. Instead, she and the Crown were at odds with admitting certain parts of her criminal record which were tied to her maiden name. Joseph and her lawyer were given two weeks to consider their options: which include her lawyer withdrawing and Joseph getting new legal counsel, or Joseph seeking to take back her guilty pleas through what’s called an expungement hearing.

The morning court dispute over Joseph’s criminal record led Joseph’s lawyer advising against proceeding with sentencing when court resumed in the afternoon. Defence also told Judge Harradence that she needed to get some legal advice on how to proceed with the matter, with Harradence responding “this matter needs to be moved along.”

Crown prosecutor Cynthia Alexander echoed the sentiment, saying “we’re anxious to proceed.”

However, at that time Joseph’s lawyer said she was leaning towards withdrawing as counsel. Harradence did not grant leave for her to withdraw, and said if Joseph plans to seek an expungement hearing he wants to see it in writing at her next court appearance.

Earlier this year, Joseph entered eight guilty pleas for performing fraud — this related to charges that she took money in exchange for signing off on unperformed community service hours while she worked with the Fine Options Program, which is run through the band. She initially faced more than 100 charges of forgery, defrauding the government, falsifying books and documents, and using a forged document after the RCMP started investigating a complaint against Joseph in mid-2013.

At a previous court appearance, Harradence said the Crown is asking for a jail sentence of three to nine months, and “jail is something I’ve got to consider.”