Calgary

Gambling addict who stole $1.2 million from her employer gets 3½-year prison sentence

A B.C. gambling addict who stole $1.2 million from her Calgary employer has been sentenced to 3½ years in prison.

Former bookkeeper Colleen Dhuga pleaded guilty earlier this year to fraud

Colleen Dhuga, 50, has admitted to stealing about $1.2 million from her employer over a six-year period, between 2008 and 2014. (Meghan Grant/CBC)

A gambling addict who stole $1.2 million from her Calgary employer has been sentenced to 3½ years in prison.

Earlier this year, Colleen Dhuga pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud over $5,000.

Dhuga forged cheques and stole from company credit cards between June 2008 and March 2014.

She used the money at casinos as well as for travel, dining and other personal expenses.

Provincial court Judge Anne Brown accepted a joint sentencing submission from prosecutor Steven Johnston and defence lawyer Peter Hoare for a prison sentence of 3½ years. 

Hoare told the judge his client has expressed remorse from the moment she was confronted by police.

Dhuga worked as a controller for David Anderson's companies, which included Winsome Capital Inc., EmberClear Inc., Winsome Oil Marketing and Immersive Media Corp.

Over the six-year period, she forged nearly 200 cheques using a stamp with Anderson's signature and would then deposit the money in her personal bank account.

She also made about 500 withdrawals from three corporate credit cards belonging to the companies.

Dhuga was living in Kelowna, B.C., when she was charged last year.

About the Author

Meghan Grant

CBC Calgary reporter

Meghan Grant is the courts and crime reporter for CBC Calgary.