PEI

Brother, sister plead guilty in 50/50 scam

A brother and sister pleaded guilty Thursday for their part in a 50/50 lottery fraud that cost a non-profit community group more than $50,000.

Michelle Lynn McKenna, 31, and Joshua Tyler McKenna, 22, sentenced to probation, community service

The Community Cash 50/50 charity raffle has issued a statement regarding the alleged fraud on its Facebook page. (Community Cash 50/50 Facebook)

A brother and sister pleaded guilty Thursday for their part in a 50/50 lottery fraud that cost a non-profit community group more than $50,000.

Michelle Lynn McKenna, 31, and Joshua Tyler McKenna, 22, were sentenced to one year probation and 50 hours community service.

The siblings are two of six people — all from the Charlottetown area — charged with fraud over $5,000 in relation to the lottery.

Court heard police received a tip June 14 about the 50/50 community cash lottery at the Murphy Community Centre. Police alerted the centre — a non-profit community group — and told them not to disperse the winnings from the June 10 draw.

First-time offenders

I apologize and will never do it again.– Michelle McKenna

Neither sibling received any money. Both are first-time offenders.

Murphy's had to redo four draws that were conducted fraudulently. Re-doing the draws cost Murphy's $56,456.

Michelle said she lost her job of eight years as a pharmacy technician because of the fraud. She fell into debt when she could not pay her student loans.

"I apologize and will never do it again," she told court.

Hopes to become a pharmacist

Joshua is employed and said he hopes to return to university to become a pharmacist.

"This was quite a scheme and a serious fraud on a non-profit organization that does good work for the community," said Judge John Douglas. "The more important part of this case will be dealing with the person who set up this fraud."

Cases against four other accused, Simon Hood, Mark Griffin, Anthony Cummiskey, and Joshua Smith, are still before the courts. 

With files from Brian Higgins

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