A former employee who embezzled nearly $ 200,000 at her daycare got away with home jail and community service, but she will have to pay back the amount defrauded over the next 10 years.
Decidedly, the crime did not pay off for Mélanie Lessard, who had already had to sell her house to start the repayment, which will stretch until 2030, at the rate of $ 600 per month.
“I am aware of everything that has been done,” she said in a small voice Wednesday at the Montreal courthouse. The person 10 years ago and the person today are completely different. “
The 35-year-old woman’s crime dates back to 2008, when she worked at the CPE Carcajou in east Montreal. As an administrative assistant, she had access to the bank accounts of the childcare center in order to take care of payroll and the purchase of supplies.
She then took advantage of this access to set up a false invoicing system, which ultimately enabled her to embezzle $ 199,000 in her bank account.
“Her husband at the time had problems with gambling and alcoholism, she had to fend for herself. She was in psychological distress, ”explained her lawyer, Rose-Marie Destroismaisons-Picard.
For three years
The ploy spanned three years, until Lessard was caught and then fired.
Her problems then began, since she was sued in civil proceedings by the CPE.
Under a repayment agreement, she sought a line of credit and then sold her Toyota RAV4 Sport. But since this was not enough, she had to sell her house.
Lessard, who now works as a manager, then pledged to continue the repayment, which is expected to be completed within 10 years.
“The monthly amount is taken directly from his pay,” said his lawyer, ensuring that his client had learned his lesson.
Usually, this kind of fraud deserves imprisonment, said judge Mélanie Hébert on Wednesday.
However, Lessard is a special case, since quickly, the woman mobilized not only to reimburse even before being accused, but also because the rehabilitation process is well underway.
Crown Attorney Me Jean-Christofe Ardeneus also stressed that the CPE did not want Lessard to go to prison, so that she continues to reimburse.
“A different person”
In addition to house arrest for two years less a day, Lessard will have to perform 240 hours of community service. She will then have to undergo a three-year probation.
“Over the years, you become a different person”, assured the culprit to the judge, before leaving the courtroom.