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Defrauding $456,000 from employer leads to jail time for P.E.I. woman



CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Defrauding her employer of greater than $450,000 to purchase sports activities automobiles and pursue a lavish life-style has led to twenty months in jail for a P.E.I. lady. 

“The only motivating issue, I discover, is pure greed,” stated Chief Decide Jeff Lantz on April 28 within the matter of Tammy Renee Hunt. 

Hunt beforehand pleaded responsible in provincial courtroom in Charlottetown to fraud over $5,000. The whole quantity she defrauded her (now) former employer – Birt & MacKay Backhoe Providers Ltd. in Charlottetown – was $456,521.21. Hunt, 45, didn’t have a previous legal file. 

Hunt’s employment with the corporate started on Oct. 7, 2019, as an workplace employee, stated Crown lawyer Jeff MacDonald. In that function, she maintained monetary information and had full entry to the corporate’s financial institution accounts and was approved to make funds by cheques and e-transfers. 

The fraud

The fraud included Hunt making 42 e-transfers totalling $90,398 from the corporate’s account to her private checking account between April 1, 2020, and Aug. 5, 2021. She additionally used firm cash to pay for a brand new patio deck, siding and a scorching tub at her Oyster Mattress Bridge house, and to cowl objects bought on her bank card. Of the overall quantity defrauded, $194,155 was utilized by Hunt for the 14 bank card funds. Firm cash was additionally used to purchase a 2020 Toyota Supra from a dealership in Amherst, N.S., for $72,500. That automobile was later offered by Hunt to a automotive dealership in Toronto. The corporate did approve $45,694 to Hunt in Might 2020 so she may buy a Chevrolet Camaro and make the most of a reduction. Hunt was required to repay the cash for the sports activities automotive. As an alternative, it was found that she merely transferred cash between firm accounts to make it appear to be the cash was repaid. It was additionally realized by means of an outdoor bookkeeper employed to coach workers and put together the corporate’s tax returns that financial institution reconciliations had not been carried out since September 2019, stated MacDonald. 

The arrest

The corporate reported the fraud to police on Aug. 17, 2021. Hunt was arrested on Feb.3, 2022. She was fired from the corporate. It was famous that whereas Hunt was launched from custody because the fraud cost proceeded in courtroom, she labored for an additional firm, however that employment ended previous to sentencing.  

A pre-sentence report discussing Hunt’s private circumstances was ready to help the courtroom. MacDonald stated the report may largely be summed up by a remark stating that “you by no means know when Tammy was telling the reality.” That remark was made by Hunt’s mom, stated MacDonald.  

‘Large breach of belief’

MacDonald described the fraud as a “large breach of belief,” and added that the fraud was motivated by greed and Hunt’s “pursuit of a extra lavish life-style” past her monetary means. 

MacDonald requested a jail sentence of two years much less a day whereas Hunt’s lawyer, Chris van Ouwerkerk, sought a conditional sentence or home arrest. 

In assist of home arrest, van Ouwerkerk advised the courtroom that Hunt is coping with bodily and psychological well being points. She additionally skilled childhood trauma that has not been addressed. 

Van Ouwerkerk identified that Hunt wasn’t an accountant however was nonetheless tasked with monetary duties past what her {qualifications} and pay justified. She had been employed by the corporate to switch one other worker who’s at present earlier than the courts dealing with an analogous allegation.  

Motivating elements widespread to fraud issues, resembling substance abuse and playing, weren’t recognized in Hunt’s pre-sentence report. 

And van Ouwerkerk disagreed that greed was the only motivating issue. Greed ultimately did play a task because the fraud escalated. However initially, Hunt was motivated by “class envy” and her $16 per hour wage that left her dwelling paycheque to paycheque and in close to poverty, van Ouwerkerk stated.  

The sentencing

Lantz stated that given the intense circumstances, a conditional sentence wasn’t acceptable to handle deterrence, denounce the offence or preserve the neighborhood protected.  

“One thing this substantial requires a considerable sentence, which is on this case, jail,” defined Lantz. 

Hunt was not required to pay $456,521.21 in restitution to the corporate for the reason that quantity had already been paid again by means of a civil motion and settlement. Repaying the quantity concerned promoting belongings, resembling the home and the Chevrolet Camaro. 

Along with the 20-month jail time period, Hunt was sentenced to 3 years of probation. 

Terrence McEachern is a justice reporter with SaltWire in Prince Edward Island. He could be reached by e mail at [email protected] and could be adopted on Twitter @terry_mcn.

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