A Vancouver accountant has been charged with embezzlement after she allegedly defrauded a local criminal justice think-tank of more than $1 million.

Janet Bayda was a registered chartered accountant, who contracted her services to the International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy for 18 years.

She was fired in 2011 when a forensic accounting review discovered the alleged fraud, which dates back to at least 1994.

Lawyer Don Sorochan, representing the centre, said she betrayed their trust but has been helping them recover some of the allegedly embezzled funds.

"We did recover over $400,000 within a month of discovery, so that was a good first step," said Sorochan.

The centre has since implemented new accounting procedures to protect itself from similar crimes in the future.

Bayda is due to appear in provincial court on June 7.

With files from the CBC's Luke Brocki