Nfld. & Labrador

8 months' house arrest for former minor hockey volunteer guilty of fraud

Melissa Williams pleaded guilty to two of six charges — admitting theft of more than $12,000 — while the remainder were dropped.

Melissa Williams pleaded guilty to 2 of 6 charges, admitting theft of more than $12K, with the rest dropped

Melissa Williams walks by reporters at court in Corner Brook on Friday morning. (Troy Turner/CBC)

A former volunteer in Corner Brook has received a conditional sentence of eight months' house arrest for stealing thousands of dollars from the area's minor hockey association.

Melissa Williams, 48, received the sentence in provincial court Thursday morning.

Six charges were laid against Williams in January 2020 after the association noticed missing money and unpaid bills, including one for ice time at the city-run civic centre, totalling more than $75,000.

Following the discovery of the missing money, the association cut expenses and did extra fundraising. By September 2020, the association paid back the city $75,000 and began the season debt-free.

Earlier this year, Williams was set to go to trial on six charges, but changed her plea to guilty on charges of theft over $5,000 and unlawful use of a credit card, acknowledging taking $12,012.38. According to an agreed statement of facts, Williams has paid back $4,500 and must pay the remainder over the next three years. The four remaining charges were dropped.

A statement of restitution provided by Crown noted the association is missing $149,853.09, including payroll funds, e-transfer payments and cash and other missing funds, but Judge Kymill Howe said since itemized details of the missing money were not provided to the court, she could not factor it into Williams's sentence.

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