Convicted Edmonton officer going to jail
Appeal Court overturns house arrest for Zenari
A former Edmonton police officer convicted of bilking the Edmonton Police Service out of more than $250,000 will have to serve the remaining 18 months of his sentence in jail, Alberta's highest court has ruled.
Riccardo Zenari had been granted leave by a judge to serve his two-year sentence under house arrest.
In bringing down the sentence on Jan. 16, provincial court Judge Ferne LeReverend cited "exceptional circumstances" in his decision.
"Mr. Zenari did not commit the frauds out of greed or even for a luxurious lifestyle," the judge wrote in her decision. "He is financially ruined and owes money to family. He has lost his reputation and job as a police officer. He has been humiliated."
The judge noted Zenari, a 13-year veteran, had quit the force and paid back the money.
Zenari was the highest paid Edmonton police constable at the time the charges were laid in 2011.
However, in order to make all that money he falsified overtime and court appearances, and forged the signatures of various superiors. He used the money, amounting to about $6,000 a month, to help his wife conceive a baby after suffering seven miscarriages.
While Zenari's guilty plea, genuine remorse and restitution are factors in his favour, "it is not acceptable to use an obsession over having children to justify criminal conduct," the Appeal Court ruled in its decision made public on Tuesday.
He will get credit for time already served under house arrest.
With files from Janice Johnson