Fraudster gets house arrest

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A St. Albert woman who defrauded the St. Albert Money Mart of $10,000 while working as the outlet’s manager was sentenced to six months of house arrest and more than a year of probation on June 14.

Kimberly Handley, 49, pleaded guilty to fraud and uttering forged documents earlier this year.

Handley was the manager of the store and over a 17-day period used her position to take out loans for $10,000. She used the store’s computers and made slight modifications to information of existing customers — such as changing birthdates or first names — to take out new loans.

The loans were withdrawn over a 17-day period. Handley’s regional supervisor reported the problem to the RCMP on May 23, 2009.

Handley was facing financial problems and her lawyer said she tried to fix those problems through gambling, which is where much of the fraudulently taken money went.

Crown prosecutor Jeff Morrison told the court the crime required some form of incarceration, either through a short, sharp jail sentence or through house arrest.

Handley’s lawyer felt a probationary term would be a better solution.

Morrison emphasized that, as a manager, her employer had given her a great deal of trust, which she had betrayed.

“It wasn’t like she was just some clerk with her hand in the till.”

He also said he was disappointed to see in the months since her arrest that Handley had made no restitution or even looked into counselling for gambling addiction.

Judge Charles Gardner also expressed that concern, speaking directly to Handley before the sentence was handed down.

“I would have liked to have seen more today.”

Handley’s house arrest will require her to be inside her home 24 hours a day for the first three months, with exceptions for work or any counselling she is ordered to take.

In the last three months she will be under a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. She is also banned from attending at any gambling institutions.

During the house arrest, she will be required to make payments of $500 per month in restitution. The remaining funds will have to be repaid over her 14-month probationary term.

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