Winnipeg Free Press, By: Aldo Santin, July 4, 2013
The former financial administrator of Manitoba Theatre for Young People was sentenced to nine months' house arrest this week for stealing more than $63,000 from the local troupe.
Kathleen Owen-Hunt, 39, pleaded guilty in March to the charges and was sentenced Wednesday by Provincial court Judge Dale Schille.
A tearful Owen-Hunt stood and apologized to a representative of the theatre group, adding she realized her thefts only worsened the group’s ongoing financial difficulties.
Owen-Hunt then broke down and cried openly as she apologized to her spouse sitting in the gallery.
"I put us in a horrible, horrible position," Owen-Hunt said. "I just want to be a better person."
Owen-Hunt began working at MTYP in March 2006 and began stealing from them in March 2008 until she left at the end of October 2011.
Defence counsel Timothy Valgardson said the thefts were an attempt by Owen-Hunt to get out from under $40,000 in credit card debt that she and her spouse had incurred.
Crown prosecutor Mandy Ambrose said that Owen-Hunt, whose duties included directing a third-party payroll firm, conducted an unsophisticated scam over a three-and-a-half-year period where she overpaid herself in overtime and vacation to which she was not entitled, and she set up payroll accounts in the name of three former employees and had the funds deposited into her own personal bank account, for a total of 114 separate transactions.
"It was planned and it was deliberate," Ambrose said of the scheme, adding it was only discovered after she left. Read more
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