Former Service Canada employee gets house arrest

Colleen Esteves, 52, a former employee of Service Canada, was sentenced to 18 months house arrest on Thursday.

Colleen Esteves defrauded employment insurance program of more than $75,000

52-year-old Colleen Esteves of St. John's was sentenced in provincial court on Thursday. (CBC)

A former federal government employee has been sentenced to 18 months of house arrest, after defrauding the employment insurance program of more than $75,000. 

Colleen Esteves, 52, worked for Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, as well as Service Canada, and deposited unauthorized funds into a joint account she held with her former common-law partner.

The court was told during an earlier court appearance that Esteves used her position to steal funds over a three-year period to fuel the partner's serious gambling addiction.

In provincial court on Thursday, Esteves was sentenced to house arrest, followed by two years of probation.  

Judge James Walsh also ordered Esteves to pay full restitution of the stolen money.