Defrauded charity still broke after crime
A woman convicted of stealing almost $40,000 from the Newfoundland and Labrador Brain Injury Association will learn her sentence later this week.
The association, meanwhile, says it is still trying to recover from the fraud that former executive director Keri Lynn McGrath carried out while she ran the non-profit organization.
Between January 2009 and January 2010, McGrath made 51 transfers from the organization to her own personal accounts.
At a sentencing hearing on Monday, the Crown and the defence made a joint submission that McGrath be given a conditional sentence of seven months — which would involve house arrest — as well as 18 months of probation.
McGrath should also perform 100 hours of community service, the lawyers recommended.
The Crown also wants McGrath to pay back the Brain Injury Association what she had taken.
Justice Raymond Halley, who convicted McGrath last week, said McGrath had "betrayed the confidence that the Association had in her. She treated the association's bank account as if it were her own."
McGrath had claimed that the payments were for reimbursements of petty cash, mileage, or payments of bonuses or salary.
Michelle Ploughman, president of the Brain Injury Association, said the provincial office had to close because of the fraud, and that the small non-profit has yet to recover financially.
"Every summer we have a hot dog sale ... It's a celebration and [supporters are] saving money for their own activities," Ploughman said outside Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador.
"She took all of that. She took everybody's hard-earned dollars that went into our programming."
Stefan Doyle, who suffered a brain injury after his car struck a moose 15 years ago, said he misses having a place to meet others with similar struggles.
"We used to get together every week, Wednesday, and [do] something. We don't do it like we used to, 'cause the money's not there," Doyle said.
"That was to help people that are hurt already. She's hurting us more."
Halley is expected to bring down his sentence on Wednesday.